Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NC State’s New Fingernail Size Chip Stores Data Worth Space in 20 HD DVDs

North Carolina State University engineers have developed a material to allow a small fingernail size chip that stores data worth space in 20 HD DVDs. It is equivalent to 250 million pages of text.

It is far greater than the storage capacity allowed by any computer memory system.

The team of the researchers has been led by Dr. Jagdish “Jay” Narayan, John C.C. Fan Family Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at NC State. The team employed the strategy of selective doping. It involves adding impurities to specific materials thereby causing a change in its properties.

The research is expected to result in more efficient production of energy and a better fuel economy for vehicles. Besides, the heat produced by semiconductors during the production is also expected to be reduced dramatically, making the entire process more effective in turn.

Metal nickel was added to a ceramic, magnesium oxide. It resulted in nickel atoms, 10 square nanometers in size. The 90% reduction in size (a pinhead has a diameter of 1 million nanometers) is dramatic.

“Instead of making a chip that stores 20 gigabytes, you have one that can handle one terabyte, or 50 times more data,” Narayan says. The discovery also aides “spintronics”. The emerging technology harnesses the production of energy that’s produced by spinning electrons. The process releases no heat. The team manipulated the electron spin. It resulted in harnessing the energy of the electrons as well. The results of the study may be highly significant for all those aiming at producing more efficient semiconductors.

No comments:

Post a Comment