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Scientists create nanodot SSDs

Scientists create nanodot SSDs

The nanodot-based drives could replace traditional flash SSDs within five years.

Solid state storage is due to get a boost thanks to work carried out on 'nanodots' at the North Carolina State University.

As reported over on Thinq, a team of scientists lead by Dr. Jay Narayan have developed a new method of data storage which uses nanodots - tiny structures measuring 10nm across - to store individual bits, resulting in a silicon chip capable of storing vast quantities of data.

Dr. Narayan claims that the current state of the art in the technology, which allows for 10nm diameter nanodots, would allow chips measuring just four square centimetres to store 512GB of data - and that's just the beginning.

With the team currently investigating the possibility of reducing the size of the nanodots to just 6nm - something Dr. Narayan believes is easily achievable - data storage densities would increase accordingly, creating tiny storage devices capable of holding far more data than current solid-state technologies such as flash memory.

The team claims that its work represents a technology which could be "manufactured cost-effectively," and Dr. Narayan even claims that products based around nanodot storage could take over from traditional flash-based solid-state drives in "five years - or sooner."

The technology still has a way to go before it's commercially viable, of course, but anything which can increase the data density of solid-state storage and drive down the cost-per-gigabyte - still one of the biggest barriers to entry for those thinking about upgrading their traditional hard drives - is to be applauded.

Do you believe that the future of storage lies with solid-state devices - whether traditional flash RAM or neat nanodot-based systems - or does the humble spinning magnetic platter still have a lot to give? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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Picarro 4th May 2010, 13:25 Quote
4*4 cm = 512 gb .. I would be able to store my entire households data on the space of 1 single 3.5" HDD...
Silver51 4th May 2010, 13:43 Quote
The capacity sounds impressive, but I'd want to see the read/write speeds before throwing one into my machine. Still, SSD is definitely the way forward. I have two now and wouldn't want to go back to running Windows from a mechanical drive.

Also, Narayan is pretty basass.
shanky887614 4th May 2010, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
The capacity sounds impressive, but I'd want to see the read/write speeds before throwing one into my machine. Still, SSD is definitely the way forward. I have two now and wouldn't want to go back to running Windows from a mechanical drive.

Also, Narayan is pretty basass.

this probably wont be ussed as a boot drive at least not at first it will probably be for a data drive


for example at min my c drive has over 200gb data on it and data has nearly 1tb so current ssd's are not worth it to me so ill be waiting for these
Elledan 4th May 2010, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
The capacity sounds impressive, but I'd want to see the read/write speeds before throwing one into my machine. Still, SSD is definitely the way forward. I have two now and wouldn't want to go back to running Windows from a mechanical drive.

Also, Narayan is pretty basass.

Right now it's just a storage medium without read/write mechanism.

I'd sooner count on PCM or such blazing past Flash. It is already in the process of replacing NOR Flash at this point.
Unknownsock 4th May 2010, 14:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
The capacity sounds impressive, but I'd want to see the read/write speeds before throwing one into my machine. Still, SSD is definitely the way forward. I have two now and wouldn't want to go back to running Windows from a mechanical drive.

Also, Narayan is pretty basass.

this probably wont be ussed as a boot drive at least not at first it will probably be for a data drive


for example at min my c drive has over 200gb data on it and data has nearly 1tb so current ssd's are not worth it to me so ill be waiting for these

Thats why you strip windows down to fit on a small SSD, and put the rest and install the rest on another drive. My C: drive is currently about 29gb and its hardly stripped down what so ever.
mrbens 4th May 2010, 15:12 Quote
Great news, but then in 5 years time there'll be something else even better promised "within a few years" and so on... :D
alick 4th May 2010, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
4*4 cm = 512 gb .. I would be able to store my entire households data on the space of 1 single 3.5" HDD...

is 4 square centameters not 2 cm x 2 cm
CharlO 4th May 2010, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
4*4 cm = 512 gb .. I would be able to store my entire households data on the space of 1 single 3.5" HDD...

Sorry, but that's 16 square cm :P

Yeah, would have a few terabytes in the sice of a HDD and several times the speed.

Hope the prices relate to the cost and not to a demand of making a profit 20 times the cost.
StephenK 4th May 2010, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbens
Great news, but then in 5 years time there'll be something else even better promised "within a few years" and so on... :D

Yup and I hope so, if not faster! The only downside is if you want to buy every newest thing then you're gonna spend a lot of cash. I'm all for anything that pushes the envelope faster and further :)
HourBeforeDawn 4th May 2010, 17:26 Quote
another promising tech but will see if it delivers or just fades like the others. ><
l3v1ck 4th May 2010, 17:57 Quote
Let's hope they're more suitable than current SSD's for long term storage.
Xtrafresh 4th May 2010, 22:39 Quote
any word on performance? The storage capacity sounds tasty though, so if the performance isn't all the way up there this will still replace HDDs.

Nice to keep an eye on, but like any tech: see first believe later :D
Elledan 4th May 2010, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
any word on performance? The storage capacity sounds tasty though, so if the performance isn't all the way up there this will still replace HDDs.

Nice to keep an eye on, but like any tech: see first believe later :D

Performance will depends on what read/write method they will invent for it.
crazyceo 5th May 2010, 13:37 Quote
The benefit is cheap drives with no moving parts which goes on to benefit the entire system. Read/Write speads are irrelivant at this time since it has to be proven to work at any level. look at SSD's now, the variation of read/write speeds just between manufacturers and the software used isn't standard in any way. You could pick up a SSD and think a HDD has nothing on it but then tests with F3 Spinpoints are pretty damn close if not better than some SSD's being sold today.

5 years is not a long time in this industry and I can see this being developed sooner rather than later.
BLC 5th May 2010, 19:27 Quote
I heard about this on the latest Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast. From the discussions on the show, this technology does have one very very large hurdle that needs to be overcome. At this stage, they still do not know how to interface with the nanodots in order to actually read/write data. Before we start talking about performance numbers, I think I'd like to see that resolved ;)

Although it does offer the highest storage density per square inch - traditional hard drives do not even come close.

Afraid I have no links other than the podcast and the NCSU site (http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/wmsnarayannanodots/); can't get hold of the actual paper...


EDIT: Damnit, someone beat me to it! :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elledan
Performance will depends on what read/write method they will invent for it.
Gradius 6th May 2010, 00:54 Quote
Would want to know speed and prices!
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