IBM, storing data and a single atom

International Business Machines (IBM) recently improved its computing technology, with researchers discovering how to store data on a single atom.

Recent IBM research revealed that researchers have developed the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom, packed with a singular piece of digital data.

Its data storage recently stored digital data as an operating system, a movie, a study, a computer virus and an Amazon gift card — all stalled in strands of DNA.

The researchers said its success allows consumers to store 1,000 times more information through an identical amount of space in future applications, with hard drives using around 100,000 atoms to store a singular bit of information while using traditional methods.

The discovery included a nobel prize-winning scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), which was used to build the atomic hard drive.

According to The Hacker News, scientists performed on an atom from earth and placed it on a surface of magnesium oxide.

Christopher Lutz, nanoscience researcher at IBM, said in a statement: “We conducted this research to understand what happens when you shrink technology down to the most fundamental extreme — the atomic scale.

“Magnetic bits lie at the heart of hard disk drives, tape, and next-generation magnetic memory.”

Although the practical development of these methods is “far out in the future and could take a while to commercialise”, researchers noted “nanostructures built with control over every atom could someday make data centres, computers, and other personal devices radically smaller and more powerful.”

Written by Leah Alger

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