Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Technology Science

Nanotech To Replace Disk Drives Within Ten Years? 127

Posted by Zonk
from the along-with-my-hip dept.
Ian Lamont writes "An Arizona State University researcher named Michael Kozicki claims that nanotechnology will replace disk drives in ten years. The article mentions three approaches: Nanowires (which replace electrons/capacitors), multiple memory layers on silicon (instead of a single layer), and a method that stores multiple pieces of information in the same space: 'Traditionally, each cell holds one bit of information. However, instead of storing simply a 0 or a 1, that cell could hold a 00 or a 01. Kozicki said the ability to double capacity that way — without increasing the number of cells — has already been proven. Now researchers are working to see how many pieces of data can be held by a single cell.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nanotech To Replace Disk Drives Within Ten Years?

Comments Filter:
  • That's just stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:36PM (#21204829) Homepage Journal
    "Nanotechnology will replace Hard drives in 10 years"

    That's meaningless.

    I think "Nano-technology will double disk capacity in 10 years" would be better, but still pretty silly.

    As apposed to those giant 1s and 0s we use now.

    • Well, you're kinda nitpicking at the title too. Really everyone is going to see Hard Drive as one of those nifty spinning disks in the computer, which most of the tech mentioned in the article is not so for that vast majority of people this will be an accurate title. Literal(I thik that I spelled that wrong, but heh I don't really care all that much again you know what I mean) translation and real language meaning/usage are two very different things in the American language.

      Anyway this is some pretty cool
    • by Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @08:17PM (#21205285)

      Mod parent up...

      Hard disks are absolutely, with no qualification, nanotechnology. In fact, hard disks were the *first* nanotechnology we ever used, anywhere. Each bit on a modern hard disk is literally nanometers on a side, the read head is a thin film nanometers in thickness, flying above the disk less than a micron above the surface! Saying that nanotechnology will replace that is like saying that wheat will replace rye as the best sandwich containing substance. Moronic.

      When I was helping with a proposal to the EPA for regulating the environmental effects of nanotech, I needed to come up with a definition for nanotechnology. The *only* definition that exists for nanotechnology is a system where the relevant controlled length-scale is less than 100nm. Hard drives are the most advanced nanotechnology on earth!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blind biker (1066130)
        Well, I have seen white papers of MOS transistors with 14 nm gates. Those qualify as slightly more advanced, if linear dimension is the metric.
      • by H0D_G (894033)
        "In fact, hard disks were the *first* nanotechnology we ever used, anywhere." not true. given modern nanotechnology research in to things like quantum dots, gold nanoparticles are the first nanotechnology. gold nanoparticles have had a controlled dimensionality for more than 200 years officially, and controlled size nanoparticles have existed for thousands of years- look at the lycurgus cup http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/online_tours/museum_and_exhibition/the_art_of_glass/the_lycurgus_cup.aspx [britishmuseum.org] HDDs
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Gibbs-Duhem (1058152)

          That's funny, I didn't really expect anyone else to know about that. Well played sir.

          It's actually pretty awesome how they did this, although I'm more familiar with the use in stained glass windows. The red tint in stained glass windows from that era was from the surface plasmon of gold nanoparticles. They made it by adding a gold salt to the molten glass solution, and as it cooled the glass became viscous fast enough that diffusion was too slow to form bulk gold. Instead, gold nanoparticles nucleated and

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eebra82 (907996)
        Regardless of how small a bit is on the platter of a hard drive, you are missing the point.

        Yes, the Kozicki quote is flawed when put out of context, but we all understand that he is talking about circuitry at nano levels. You are absolutely correct in your remarks, but don't get hung up on the first sentence of the news. Read the whole thing and get a grasp of it instead.

        Having said that, I fully agree that hard drives are getting closer to an end. Mechanical components in a computer are not going to su
        • by fractoid (1076465)

          Having said that, I fully agree that hard drives are getting closer to an end. Mechanical components in a computer are not going to survive much longer - and that includes media players (DVD, BR, HDDVD, etc). Eventually, hard drives will be chips and media content will be streams or sources over the air and by wire.

          Unless you're suggesting storing data as a pattern of photons traveling through space [qntm.org] we'll need to have physical storage somewhere. For now it'll be electrical or magnetic (as with current hard drives and various types of flash memory) but eventually I can see all computing taking place physically on a nano scale. Mechanical devices at that scale don't suffer from wear and tear in the same way that macromechanical devices do (for instance DMD chips in projectors have the micromirrors moving thousands of t

      • ...that this time it will take ten years.

        Last time I read that nanotech would replace hard disks, it was only five years away. That was two years ago. I'm very happy to see this story tagged "again".

        The question I'm left with is this: If it was going to take five years two years ago, and now it will take ten years, will it take fifteen years or twenty years in two years time? Answer me that and I may bother to RTFA. Hey, explain my own question to me in comprehensible terms and I'll be impressed.

      • by Paktu (1103861)
        Don't mean to go too OT here, but actually the first widespread use of nanotechnology was in Damascus, Syria about 500 years ago [wikipedia.org]
      • Hard disks are absolutely, with no qualification, nanotechnology.

        Except of course, when you qualify the term "nanotechnology" or when you consider that the first hard drives held about 2k per square inch. It's a bit less 'absolute' then.

        This article is yet another example of how the term has been watered down to mean any technology, no matter how it's fabricated, that can be measured in nanometers. Everything can be measured in nanometers if it has length, width, or depth. Even chemical engineering, wh

        • by dbIII (701233)
          The meaning has changed since then. While I like to think of nanotechnology as the sort of stuff Drexler wrote about but the term is being applied to things like toothpaste and paint with fine particles. By the current depressingly broad definition I was doing nanotech as an undergrad by just doing stuff with powder composites with sub-micro alumina in them - stuff that could actually be done by high school students with a some metal and ceramic powders, a metal shop, oxy-acetylene torch, methylated spiri
          • Exactly. Why pervert the term "nanotechnology" when we already have the perfectly good term "chemistry" ? :)
            • Well, It's just like how I have a hydrogen burning car. The hydrogen comes in convenient, safe packets called Heptane and Cetane.
              -nB
      • In fact, hard disks were the *first* nanotechnology we ever used, anywhere.

        You might want to do a little research before making such sweeping claims.
        • by dbIII (701233)

          You might want to do a little research before making such sweeping claims.

          Brooms with very fine fibres were the first nanotechnology we ever used, anywhere?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Predictions of technology 10 years in the future are foolish and not credible.
    • by SoreToe (1183473)
      Just in case you didn't catch this below, play it again Sam... Speaking from bitter experience... just about any reporter can make even the smartest person sound as dumb as a post. Sensational headlines are more interesting than idle speculation. Yes, this new technology involves the use of "nanowires on demand" but the surrounding electronics are pretty-much living in the now (transistors and the like). So it might be "nanotechnology" but its not all that. Interestingly, people have made real chips with t
  • Possibly... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Paul_Hindt (1129979)
    Whether or not nanotechnology replaces disk drives and digital storage media in ten years is only part of the question. What is likely is that one or more different technologies will start edging out typical magnetic storage in the coming decade. I am still waiting for my holographic storage media the size of a postage stamp.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gweihir (88907)
      I am still waiting for my holographic storage media the size of a postage stamp.

      Yes, I believe that was 3-5 years in the furture some time ago. Along with Exabyte-sized optical tape. None wver materialized.

      Personally I believe for large-volume storage, magnetic media have at least 20 years ahead of them as dominat technology. For smaller storage, Flash will be there first. Even if they have a working prototype of nanotech storage in 10 years (by no means certain), getting it cheap, large and reliable enoug
    • InPhase has a kick ass product out already, right now. As in not some upcoming promise and not some theoretical device. In fact, it's not even a prototype. Businesses buy holographic drives from them right now for write once backups. This 10 years crap really doesn't mean anything. Do you know how killer holographics is going to be 10 years from now? A lot farther along than a technology that ohhhh you know, doesn't exist at the moment.
  • by Bender_ (179208) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:37PM (#21204841) Journal

    Ok, the article is talking about science fiction solutions that have been demonstrated for single bits at universities, but nobody has any idea how to mass produce it.
    Meanwhile flash memory in production is approaching feature sizes of 30 nanometers with 2 or even 4 bits stored per cell. Also stacking of several memory layers on the same die has been demonstrated.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:54PM (#21205025)
      NAND flash was invented in 1988 (when working stuff was demonstrated). It took 10 years to really get going and a further five or more years to become really mainstream.

      By comparison, nano-blaah is a long way off being able to demonstrate even a 1Mbyte storage, yet alone making it cheaply enough to be a mass storage player. I figure flash has a long life yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    oh nanotech is there anything you can't do ? oh except actually materialise into an actual product
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:38PM (#21204851)
    That is the highest precision ever achieved in a binary digit.
    • I guess all the data requiring a 11 or 10 will have to be scrapped :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by vux984 (928602)
      Ahhh, what an awful dream. Ones and zeroes everywhere... and I thought I saw a two.
    • by secPM_MS (1081961)
      Actually, a cell does not store a binary digit. It stores a value, that is then interpreted into a value. If the real logic reads only as high vs low, you get a binary digit. If the read logic can differentiate 4 levels, then you get 2 bits per cell. You can't go too far this way, as the number of bits you can store is proportional to the log (base 2) of the number of values you can read - noise, drift, and leakage become problems. This stuff is well known in the device community.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:39PM (#21204855)
    Typically these are people looking for attention or funding. Most never deliver on their predictions. I have stopped listening a long time ago.

    When some manufacturer announces a product to be shipped within a month, that is of interest. This "story" is not.
    • But it's Nanotechnology! don't you get it, it'd going to be huge! It uses The Quantum!

      • by gweihir (88907)
        Right, The Quantum of BS. Must not overlook that.

        Lets see: I predict that there will be flying cars for everybody within 10 years. No, wait, that prediciton was made some decades ago. Computers that understand human speech, as in really understand and can have a conversation in 10 years. Hmm. No. Already done and some decades late by now. I have it: CPUs so fast that computers will become intelligent and do all the work in 10 years! Nope, already predicted, but CPU power was not actually the problem.

        Hmm. I
        • by geekoid (135745)
          We have flying cars. There called 'Airplanes' we even have special places to park them called 'airports'
          What, you thought a flying car would look the same as a non flying car? that's just silly.

          I don't think anyone with actually knowledge of computers predicted the last two.

          But yeah, I love how quantum is abused in every piece of vapor ware and psuedoscience.

          • He means personal flying cars 'for everybody'. In car analogies, your airplanes are public transport
        • by catprog (849688)
          Computers can have a conversation with you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA). (you just have to type your response) but then you could use something like (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Naturally_Speaking)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:39PM (#21204865)
    ... .. . .. . . ... .

    You see periods are a lot smaller than zeros and spaces - which could be used as 1s - don't take any space at all.
  • It would be amazing if they could get a single cell to hold a whole byte instead of a bit. That would be some serious capacity there. Imagine your Zen, but with your DVD collection PLUS your music collection.

    Neat. Also vaporware, but still neat.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:40PM (#21204883) Homepage Journal
    Traditionally, NAND flash memory that uses a single cell to encode two bits as one of four voltage levels is called "multi-level cell" (MLC) flash memory [wikipedia.org]. MLC typically performs more slowly than single-level cell for two reasons: the amplifier attached to each bit line takes longer to settle to a specific value, and the error correction takes longer to process.
  • Multi-level cells are common in cheaper Flash. The first working prototypes must be something like 20 years in the past. Nothing new.

  • Ummm... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by idontgno (624372)

    However, instead of storing simply a 0 or a 1, that cell could hold a 00 or a 01

    Mebbe it's just me, but "00 or 01" is no different than "0 or 1" except that it takes up twice as much space because of a (useless) leading zero.

    There must be some point to this breakthrough, otherwise we need to expecting a massive spin-up in the magnetic core [wikipedia.org] industry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bryansix (761547)
      I'm thinking that they left off the permutations of 10 and 11. So you could have:
      00
      01
      10
      11
      as options in the cell.
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      Mebbe it's just me, but "00 or 01" is no different than "0 or 1" except that it takes up twice as much space because of a (useless) leading zero.
      But it's much more precise now with double the digits !

  • However, instead of storing simply a 0 or a 1, that cell could hold a 00 or a 01. Kozicki said the ability to double capacity that way -- without increasing the number of cells -- has already been proven.
    Actually that would quadruple the storage if my calculations are correct. But then again I'm bad at math.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by physicsboy500 (645835)
      no, it would double the capacity and quadruple the possible states.

      It's still one bit v. two bits, but at the same time it's 2^1 vs 2^2 possible states.
      • by Bryansix (761547)
        Oh right. That makes sense. I forgot to take into account that a bit has two states already.
    • by raygundan (16760) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:49PM (#21204979) Homepage
      A cell that can hold two bits holds four times as many possible values as a cell that can hold one bit.

      [0] [1]
      [00] [01] [10] [11]

      Of course, two one-bit cells hold the same number of values.

      [0][0] [0][1] [1][0] [1][1]

      Two one-bit cells = one two-bit cell. Twice the capacity. Not that the article is terribly clear-- if their "miracle device" can really only hold 00 and 01, they've just invented a crappy new notation for binary.
      • The number of people on slashdot that cannot do basic arithmetic is depressing. Even more depressing is that moderators don't even notice and mod it up anyway!
        • Yes I am. (Score:3, Informative)

          by raygundan (16760)
          It took me a minute to spot it, but you're absolutely right. It's a law of the internet that if you correct somebody, you'll make a mistake yourself in the correction.

          Four possible values, not four times as many values.

          Apparently, I can't count.

          • True, I do similar things myself all the time. Another is saying something on a subject you know a lot about (ie, work in the field, etc) but making a minor mistake (notation, or something like that) that gets jumped on and you end up looking like an idiot.
            • by raygundan (16760)
              No worries. Thanks for catching me. I'd rather the right answer get posted and I look stupid than an uncorrected error sit at +5.
  • by Mean Mr. Mycroft (968125) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:46PM (#21204951)
    Sounds like a two-bit technology to me.
  • Where is the full-scale prototype?

    I also pay very little attention to what people say we can do technology wise ten years from now, because it is hard to prognosticate what advances might alter said time-table, or whether or not another solution might even make your solution obsolete in those ten years.

    When Toyota and Honda were giving a 10-year estimate on fuel cell cars, at the very least they had full scale, working prototypes that you could drive. When you have a full-scale prototype of this hard, let
  • Or the drive storage medium just shrink to nanotech sized bits...

    With the 10 year estimate, does it really matter which way it happens? Either way, yes, the storage bits will be small.

    The article is just using vague references to the "nanotech" buzzword as reference to non-moving-disk storage. I'm sure a tech will replace the magnetic bit storage being used now - it's inevitable.
  • This is the same guy (different article) the was discussed earlier in the week... I am not trying to pimp my own submission; just trying to maybe provide more fodder for the discussion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2007 @08:06PM (#21205181)
    The impact of this article is based on the vagueness of the term "nanotechnology".
    Much like the term "robot" which now includes radio controlled toy cars which it specifically did not include 15 years ago, Nanotechnology is a word which has developed a broader and broader meaning over time.
    Nanotechnology used to be specific to microscopic moving parts. Micromachines. As people started to work on it they began to attempt to create parts using techniques from the silicon chip industry. the silicon chip industry therefor became nanotechnology as well, which is how those "memory cells" got into the whole thing.

    These days it just means really really small stuff. If this is true wouldn't modern disk drives be nanotech too since the memory blocks are microscopically small?

    To take it even further, you cold even include some kinds of paint and adhesive tape due to the way the glue and pigment particles adhere to surfaces or reflect light.

    The word nanotech when used in this way is becoming so broad as to stop being useful. The word nanotechnology originally meant nanobots and that is what the term is most popularly accociated with in the public mind. It is the flavor of wild over the horizon borderline magic technology. people like to attach the word to whatever they are working on because it associates thier work with these feelings. It's not science it's brand recognition.

    To use another term which was the ultra hip over used buzz word word back in the 70's, a more accurate way to describe the content would be to substitute the term "solid state". This merely says containing no moving parts. That wouldn't be particularly cool thoroughly since anyone looking at the laptop and smartphone industry can tell this is already happening.

    • by Duggeek (1015705)

      w3rd. I recall many a gadget on Radio Shack shelves that pimped the term "Solid State" proudly on their cases. It had the vague impression that it was somehow higher quality, but in the end it was only a Taiwanese POS that had no moving parts. (in one case, there was a switch on the device that could not be moved... my introduction to irony)

      The idea that nano-technology will "replace" anything is preposterous. As for the prediction; remember how there were predictions in the 50's about how robots would "re

    • by SoreToe (1183473)
      Speaking from bitter experience... just about any reporter can make even the smartest person sound as dumb as a post. Sensational headlines are more interesting than idle speculation. Yes, this new technology involves the use of "nanowires on demand" but the surrounding electronics are pretty-much living in the now (transistors and the like). So it might be "nanotechnology" but its not all that. Interestingly, people have made real chips with this nanowire memory stuff on board - Qimonda and Sony come u
  • Which companies produce these amazing tubes and do they offer stocks?

  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    instead of storing simply a 0 or a 1, that cell could hold a 00 or a 01.

    I'm sure it will be even better once they figure out how to make it store 10 and 11.

  • Stupid... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by obeythefist (719316) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @08:45PM (#21205571) Journal
    Any device made out of nanotechnology that serves the same function will be called a "disk drive" even if there's no disk in it.

    USB connected flash memory is called a flash disk even today... etc.

    I really hate articles where they say "plastic will replace cars" or "prefab concrete will replace houses". They're incompatible nouns. Try "Cars will be made from plastic" or "Houses will be made from prefab concrete" or "Disk drives will be made using nanotechnology".
    • Any device made out of nanotechnology that serves the same function will be called a "disk drive" even if there's no disk in it.

      Thinking like this is why we have customers bringing their PCs and calling the case a "hard drive". Ditto for those confusing "storage" with "memory". It's people like that what cause unrest...

      It's a DRIVE, as there's nary a "disk" in sight. No motor or heavy magnets inside, either. These facts {and that it's not prone to servo/"moving parts"-type physical failures} places it in another category altogether.

      USB connected flash memory is called a flash disk even today... etc

      Not at almost every vendor I checked. Try entering "flash disk" at Wikipedia, and you'll be redi

      • Do you think most people out there called the things "flash disks" are also editors on Wikipedia? Probably none.

        How many vendors? Probably none.

        How many people on the street? A lot more than you think. And surprisingly, if you own one, it doesn't automatically make you a "geek". They're ubiquitous devices now. Almost reliable enough that people don't consider them to be "technology".

        Also... it's not a "drive". The drive component refers to the motors that spin the disks... which don't exist. If you wa
        • Do you think most people out there called the things "flash disks" are also editors on Wikipedia? Probably none.

          Evidently there's at LEAST one, as a search on "flash disk" there redirects you to "flash drive".

          How many vendors? Probably none.

          If you'd looked, you'd have seen what the rest of us did. While Samsung may call it a drive, [samsungssd.com] they're smart enough to know the Sheeple might call it a disk, and include metatags to suit the crawlers... [wikipedia.org]

          Also... it's not a "drive". The drive component refers to the motors that spin the disks... which don't exist. If you want to get picky about it. Let's just say I'll be happy to concede the point when you can show me the motor that "drives" the "flash drive".

          Ya want positive or negative drive? [freepatentsonline.com]

          • Evidently there's at LEAST one, as a search on "flash disk" there redirects you to "flash drive".

            Or quite possibly just an editor who knows that a lot of people apart from wiki editors call them disks...

            they're smart enough to know the Sheeple might call it a disk

            My point exactly... people are going to call them disks... it's not so hard to accept that, even if it isn't correct, it's going to happen anyway. Like the most heavily practiced oxymoron I can think of, "American English". Like it or not, it's w
            • My point exactly... people are going to call them disks... it's not so hard to accept that, even if it isn't correct, it's going to happen anyway. Like the most heavily practiced oxymoron I can think of, "American English". Like it or not, it's wrong, and it's in widespread use.

              I can think of a number of racist terms that people use citing that same line. If it's incorrect, then stop spreading misinformation.

              Try electric motors, the things they use, to, you know, spin the disks.

              Flash drives don't have disks to spin, which was the whole point. They DO have drive circuits, h'wever. Do catch up, dear boy...

              • If you're as offended by common use technical misnomers as you are with racial slurs, perhaps you need to pause a moment and evaluate your perspective on life. The two are wholly different degrees of misuse of language, in much the same way that doubleparking and genocide are both crimes but wildly different in scope.

                Flash drives don't have disks to spin, which was the whole point. They DO have drive circuits, h'wever. Do catch up, dear boy...

                Unsurprisingly, you seem to have missed the point of my previous
                • >Nonetheless, you seem to take offense at the term "disk" but not "drive", despite both of them being technically incorrect terms, both deriving from elements of motor driven rotational magnetic storage.

                  The meanings of the original terms are not in question.

                  Could you call it a "drive", since its primary storage medium is being driven by SOMEthing? Sure ya could, as I pointed out in earlier posts. That's what the big boys call it in all their literature.

                  Can you call it a "disk"? Well, no, and therein lies my problem. There's no disk to store data to.

                  Time and time again, I've watched ill-prepared technicians try to explain a concept to a customer. Around halfway through the discussion, the client will p

                  • "Yeah, that's close enough."

                    Could you call it a "drive", since its primary storage medium is being driven by SOMEthing?

                    So... you're doing a "close enough" yourself on that one. At least you're admitting it's a fudge now. I'd love to see you explain to an end user where the "drive" part of the flash memory is, given it derives from the motor. Easy with a hard disk drive. Not so easy when the reason for calling it a drive is simply a holdover from disk drive nomenclature.

                    Still, feel free to perpetuate t
  • The major issue of even these new technologies is their fragility:
    their sensitivity to emp and moisture, their tendency toward bit rot, their propensity toward obsolescence, all placing in danger our records as individuals, society, and as a species. (think the original voyager data, the format has been lost iirc)

    We have known about holographic crystal storage for decades now.
    It's extremely high capacity and high throughput.
    Best of all it's waterproof, immune to EMP, not subject to bit rot.
    Data can be store
  • 11 (Score:2, Funny)

    Gives new meaning to, "but this one goes to 11"
  • by Sir Holo (531007) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @09:58PM (#21206211)
    Hard drives are based on nanotech - They have features on the nanoscale.

    What the submitter may mean is that magnetic storage might be supplanted by storage based on other state variables than magnetic domain orientation, or that non-binary storage (4-bit, etc.) may eventually supplant binary storage.

    Duh.

    Numerous entities are pursuing solid state storage (no moving parts), and have been for years. Flash, NAND, FeRAM, MI transition layers, phase change storage, and on and on...

    But the fact is that currently, hard drives are the most cost-efficient mode of permanent data storage in most applications. In some cases, solid state is more advantageous. As those technologies are developed, one or more will eventually replace hard drives.

    It will be solid state. It may or may not be binary. But it will be nanotech, just like hard drives.
  • by Loke the Dog (1054294) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:12PM (#21206323)
    "Someday you'll store all your music, movies, photos and favorite TV shows on something the size of an iPod. It'll all be right there,"

    No. Someday, I will mostly store software on my equivalent of an iPod, media will be stored by Google (who everyone hates by then, since microsoft has become insignificant) in a semi-p2p network based on both servers and users. My download speed will be good enough to stream anything I want.

    Basically, there are two trends I see i personal computing: Computers are becoming smaller and more portable (duh) and internet services are in increasing demand. This means the optimal future computer will be a tiny device with an extremely high speed internet connection. That is the opposite of great amounts of storage. Who needs to have music, movies, photos and TV shows when you can just have good internet access? You still need that if you want the very latest of anything anyway.
    • by renoX (11677)
      Backupped by Google yes, stored by Google? No way!

      How are you going to access your data when either there is no network or its bandwith isn't good enough?
      It'll take much more time to have an ubiquitous wireless network with enough bandwith than coming with 'iPod' which have enough capacity to store all your data, so by the time this network happen, people will be used to carry their data with them..
  • Where the fragility and power consumption makes a disk unattractive solid state storage will eat up niche after niche until it reaches parity with the capacity and performance of a disk. Then there will be no more disks. But what is cooler is that there are no 'read heads' that must move in solid state storage. There is no performance penalty for non-sequential access. This is what will radically change the kinds of things people can do, things that are just not possible now.
  • So I lose ten years of data when a fruit fly tries to mate with the storage medium. Perfect.
  • Last time I purchased a vaporware product it just left my pockets all steamy.
  • It's almost 2010 as is and it's embarassing beyond words that the pinnacle of our technological prowess is still dependent on multiple spinning wheels. Hell, I'm hoping today's computers have more in common with a cotton gin than the computers I'm using in 2020.
  • Let's add it to the pile of about 1500 new disk technologies, all to be faster, cooler, lower power, quiet, much much much larger than magnetic disks and coming to you 'in the next few years'

    Nope, I haven't been reading articles like this every 6 months since I first picked up a PC magazine 16 years ago,.....
  • Here's the press release by Arizona State about this: http://asunews.asu.edu/20071023_nanotech [asu.edu]
  • Meh. If you've got nanotech, why not create mechanical solid-state memory? According to [Drexler] pp. 366, you ought to be able to get, conservatively, 10^21 bits/cm^3 (a billion terabytes/cm^3) with a nanoscale mechanical mass-storage system, and better seek times than a traditional HD.

    [Drexler] Nanosystems: Molecular machinery, manufacturing and computation; Drexler, K. Eric; 1992.
     
  • Ah yes, but can they replace my radio [slashdot.org]?
  • True, it is likely that some other technology will replaced HDD. False, current HDD are not nanoscale. I have an "old" HDD test sample that I use to demonstrate magnetic force microscopy (MFM) measurements. The bit are ~500nm wide. Also the tip radius of the head is typically 30nm. Flash is looking good, but the mfg capacity is currently no where near what the world would need to replace HDD. The price will be high at first. Hopefully, people will buy these drives. If the drive are commercially successful,
  • Yeah, he's smart about nanotech science, but he knows nothing about how technology goes through engineering and then - where it counts - through marketing. He has no idea how long this stuff will take to get to the market, let alone replace the stuff they'll be squeezing the most profits from once their own R&D is fully paid off.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

Working...