Think your SSD is the bomb because it can stash away 128GB of data on something so svelte? The future is far more promising, as researchers at IBM managed to stash and retrieve digital 1s and 0s from an array of a mere 12 atoms, which means the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information have been pushed yet again to what some deem to be an impossible edge. These new findings are definitely worth looking into and studied further, since it might eventually be the de facto storage system of choice, opening up a whole new world of nanomaterials being used in a generation of memory chips and disk drives. Not only does the total size of future storage devices shrink, they will also consume far less power – and that is always a good thing.
At point of publishing, the majority of advanced magnetic storage systems require around one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0, but this new achievement (Achievement Unlocked!) was made possible thanks to the exploration of magnetic materials properties at a far smaller scale.