Hardware

IBM makes nanotechnology breakthrough


Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center at San Jose, California, used a process called Magnetic Anisotropy and were able to measure the magnetic orientation of a single atom. A possible result of the breakthrough is that devices the size of the iPod can pack 30,000 full-length films.

A quote from the article at the Scientific American:

"Every atom has a magnet inside," says Cyrus Hirjibehedin, a researcher at the Almaden lab, noting that the magnetic orientation of an atom is called its "spin." "We want to understand the properties of an atom and were able to measure the anisotropy for a single atom in a particular environment."

Researchers at IBM's Zürich research lab in Switzerland were also able to study the creation of molecular switches that could one day perhaps be used to create computational systems with gargantuan computational capacity. The combined results indicate a very rosy picture for processors and storage devices of the future.

More news links:

IBM claims major nano-tech breakthrough (VNUnet)

IBM's computing breakthrough promises chips the size of dust (InformationWeek)

Atomic Storage to shrink your PC? (Silicon.com)

Nano-technology has long remained in the throes of the "next-emerging" technologies. While it is true that it will take several years before the research results make it to the market as products, the future of tech indeed appears fantastic!

6 comments
ttltd4
ttltd4

edited Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

mrogers
mrogers

Sweet! Maybe in a few years I can actually handle my girlfriend getting a puppy because I will be able to inject some "HouseTraining nBots" into it that will teach its brain not to relieve itself or bark while being inside. I was watching this TV show on Discovery Science channel a while ago showing the future of cars and the whole "AutoNET" idea and stuff but one thing they said we can expect to see once nanobots are developed is self-healing paint. This was the COOLEST thing I actually thought about in a long time. Imagine you're out on the freeway and someone decides to start sliding through the median on the other side of the highway and all the rocks and dirt pelter the paint on your car (It happened to me last week). You wouldn't have to call the insurance company and file a police report that involves you in an accident that you weren't even close to because the nanobots would take the "monomers" created by the scratch and return them to their correct "polymer" state which would basically turn it back the way it was!

DadsPad
DadsPad

the article was more about memory storage in the nanotech world. Of course the design of NanoRobots would require a 'dust' processor! Would be interesting to see the two developments work together. :)

n_egii
n_egii

I am not against nanotechnology, I voting for nanotechnology with both hands. But nanotechnology can be as dangerous ad useful they are. Nanotechnology not only means of self-restoring mechanical systems, but it means new generation of bio technology, very exciting and very dangerous at same time. Think about viruses that are genetically altered through nanotechnology: they could be even worser than bird flu. I think it is time to take research on nanotechnology into control. Although research in nanotechnology is very promising and should continue, it should be done under strict supervision of the proper authorities, in order to avoid fatal mistakes (imagine boiomedical student shouting: "have you seen my nanoviruses? I think i droped them somewhere.").

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Government control of research would be the proverbial fox guarding the hen house. Governments have an interest in weaponizing anything that gives them an edge up for defensive or offensive reasons. Projectiles, explosives, biological weapons, chemical weapons; historically, there's just too much blood on government hands. Hollywood will be very excited though. This will give them a whole new technology to rewrite the same old end of the world movies with. Search for "nuclear", replace with "nanoweapon", give it a new title and update the special effects. There is a whole lot to be gained through this technology and I'm sure 90% of it will be beneficial; it's the other 10% of uses that scare the heck out of me.

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