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.

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