Getting the most information in an increasingly smaller space is what we are looking for in the world of computing, where incredible results have already been achieved. But everything we know or anticipate for the future in this area can be much more surprising.
IBM has discovered a way to store and read data on a single atom.
A recent study published by IBM researchers describes how it was possible to store data and later read them from a single atom.
A bit was the amount of information added to an atom, and today a common hard disk is capable of storing the same amount of information in a hundred thousand atoms.
This finding means, in theory, that in the future, hard disks of the size of existing credit cards, capable of storing, for example, 35 million songs or even the entire iTunes catalog can be manufactured.
Although this is a breakthrough that opens the door to the future of storing a huge amount of data in a very small space, the truth is that this process is completely inadequate to what is expected today.
The entire technique involved is extremely expensive as it requires an electron microscope, developed by IBM, that has to be cooled with liquid nitrogen and only works in a vacuum. But it is not only, reading and writing are very slow.
The most important idea that is drawn from this study is that it is possible to store information in a single atom and, in the future, it is certain that we will have atomic hard disks.