If you are a true tech-junkie then you’d have heard about nano-technology and the benefits of these extremely small structures. First of all, products that are based on nano-technology have the advantage of building their traits on the molecular level hence making them more flexible in their applications. Bucky-balls are small spherical structures that have been used from toothpastes to medicated creams that delivers a steady dose of drugs where ever they are applied. Then comes even smaller structures known as nano-wires or extremely small wires that are about 200 NM in diameter that is indeed causing a stir in its potential for applications in the computer memory industry.
Sure, we have 1 gigabyte chips out on the market that are now cheaper than ever but the technology used to produce them has reached its maximum capability and a newer better way of making memory chips in needed if we are to achieve true solid state memory that is void of moving parts which is where most technologies fail in terms of reliability.
Moving parts mean they wear out and hard disks which all computers use as their main data storage method is always prone to fail. Hard disks have gone a long way and they have also broken the terabyte level but with all the moving parts, they are still quite a risk. They are reliable (I have an old Seagate SCSI-1 hard drive that was manufactured in 1996 and still its running strong and true) by all measures but they will and are going to fail as they reach the end of their mechanical parts lives. Bearings, motors and the armature where the drive heads rest on are going to wear out in time and with it comes all the data stored within them.
Solid state memory would have no such moving parts that would wear out and they have the added bonus of having a very small footprint compared to mechanical hard drives (new memory based ultra portable laptops are already on the market). They are also easier to replace and have longer lifespans than other data storage technologies to date and using the newly discovered nano-wires would allow the memory barrier to be pushed more and more allowing more memory capacity onto one chip.
The benefits of such discoveries and breakthroughs might sound too technical but considering the amount of gadgets you lug around with you; your mp3 player, cellular phone, iPods , thumb drives and the many others, they all rely on memory modules for their data storage abilities. Imagine being able to load millions of songs onto a single iPod or better yet, being able to store all the contents of a library onto a set of chips eliminating the use of fragile paper products that decay and lose their integrity over the years, now that’s the future.
Source : PhysOrg.com