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Nanotech To Replace Disk Drives Within Ten Years?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the along-with-my-hip dept.

Data Storage 127

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.'"

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Fuck the Nigs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204823)

First

Re:Fuck the Nigs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205241)

I guess that would make you a nig LOVER, then.
Asstroll

That's just stupid (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204829)

"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.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205065)

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 stuff that they have in here. I'm really interested to see if one technology is going to dominate as rotating media have for so long now or if it's going to be a combination of several different techs. Hell it could be something that nobody has even really thought about which is the danger of speculating about the future, you really don't know. That therefore leads to the logical conclusion "?" which you'll notice at the end of the article title.

Re:That's just stupid (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205367)

Not a nitpic at all.

Nanotechnology is just, well, a technology. They will use nanotechnology to create storage devices, sure. It's like saying
"Mass production will replace the buggy" in 1895.
Mass production of what?

or
"Are abiltiy to make things spin will be used to store vast amounts of data"

What will be created using nano-technology?

Re:That's just stupid (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207079)

It's no picnic when you nitpic.

Re:That's just stupid (2, Funny)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207259)

"Our" not "Are" sorry, nitpicking :P

Re:That's just stupid (1)

Kyojin (672334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206405)

I think he means 2 years in decimal, or 10 in binary, not 10 in decimal.

Re:That's just stupid (5, Informative)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:That's just stupid (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205591)

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.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205817)

"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 are the first commercially marketed items with that sort of dimensionality perhaps.

Re:That's just stupid (2, Interesting)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205853)

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 sucked in the gold ions in the very local area, but couldn't conglomerate and drop out of solution because the glass was too thick. The history of this stuff is very cool, and I thank you for mentioning it!

I do think it's fair to say that hard drives are the first nanomaterial which we purposefully and knowingly created understanding that it was a nanomaterial.

Re:That's just stupid (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205911)

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 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.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206563)

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 times a second and yet don't 'wear out'). I can imagine a future with computers composed of nano-scale automated abacii. :)

The really stupid thing is... (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205945)

...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.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206259)

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]

Re:That's just stupid (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207083)

Hard drives are the most advanced nanotechnology on earth!

I don't know about that. Stain-resistant pants are pretty nice. I mean, who needs a flying car when we have stain-resistant pants?

Re:That's just stupid (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207571)

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, which deals with synthesis of molecules at the nanometer scale, is not nanotechnology because it's done on a bulk scale, not atom-by-atom.

Drawing on Wikipedia's article [wikipedia.org] , "the term 'nanotechnology' was defined by Tokyo Science University Professor Norio Taniguchi in a 1974 paper ... as follows: 'Nano-technology mainly consists of the processing of, separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or by one molecule.'"

Now you and I both know that hard drives are not fabricated or tooled one molecule at a time. The surface of a platter is fabricated at a macro level, and is more or less uniform - there are no nano-scale features on the surface, only nano-scale manipulation of magnetic fields, so I have a hard time calling them "nanotechnology" in the sense used by Drexler, et al.

Sorry for the nitpicking, but I think it is important to brush past the hype and sort the true nanotech breakthroughs from these incremental refinements of macro-scale technology.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#21208029)

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 spirits and a jam jar.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207733)

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.

Re:That's just stupid (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#21208107)

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:That's just stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21207397)

Predictions of technology 10 years in the future are foolish and not credible.

Possibly... (2, Insightful)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204831)

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:Possibly... (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204945)

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 enough for the market is an entire different thing and typically takes at least another 10 years. Look at any other mainstream technology. And computer stuff is already fast with its from working demo to widespread use in 10 years. Other technology takes 30-50 years. And by workind demo I mean not a single nano-thread, but a product that is already relatively close to the final product.

Re:Possibly... (2, Informative)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205155)

None ever materialized

But [slashdot.org] ...

CC.

Re:Possibly... (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205205)

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.

Flash memory IS nano technology (3, Insightful)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204841)


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.

Flash took ten years to take off (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

nanotech will do [insert topic] (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204849)

oh nanotech is there anything you can't do ? oh except actually materialise into an actual product

Re:nanotech will do [insert topic] (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205165)

Oh Slashdot poster is there anything you can do? Oh, except bitch about everything in the world in the most ineffectual manner possible.

Re:nanotech will do [insert topic] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205375)

Oh Anonymous Coward is there anything you can do? Oh, except make snarky responses to complaints.

That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204851)

That is the highest precision ever achieved in a binary digit.

Re:That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205141)

Our next step would be to use hexadecimal instead of octal to store information as 0x0 and 0x1.

Re:That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205271)

I guess all the data requiring a 11 or 10 will have to be scrapped :(

Re:That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (2, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205393)

Ahhh, what an awful dream. Ones and zeroes everywhere... and I thought I saw a two.

Re:That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (1)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 5 years ago | (#21208021)

Don't worry, there's no such thing as twos.

Re:That cell could hold a 00 or a 01 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205477)

Yes, and on such an aggressive timetable, too: nanotech computer storage in under 2 years.

And another one of the X will replace Y stories. (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:And another one of the X will replace Y stories (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204905)

But it's Nanotechnology! don't you get it, it'd going to be huge! It uses The Quantum!

Re:And another one of the X will replace Y stories (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204985)

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 guess I am not as inventive as these people are.

Re:And another one of the X will replace Y stories (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205321)

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.

Here's a better replacement (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Here's a better replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204963)

Wait... Spaces don't take up any space at all?

Re:Here's a better replacement (3, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205269)

... .. . .. . . ... .

Am I the only one who wondered what "sieieese" was?

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:Here's a better replacement (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207813)

Obviously, you've mastered The Rhythm of the Code.

cell bytes (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204867)

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.

Re:cell bytes (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205991)

I'm still having a hard time imagining someone with a Zen...

Replace what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204877)

Nanowires (which replace electrons/capacitors)

w00t! No more electrons!

Re:Replace what? (5, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204999)

w00t! No more electrons!
It's a good thing too... they were always so negative.

Multi-level cell == slowdown (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204883)

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.

Seems theis guy does not know storage technology.. (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204885)

Multi-level cells are common in cheaper Flash. The first working prototypes must be something like 20 years in the past. Nothing new.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204889)

Yay! More predictions on future technologies! My favourite!

Seriously though, nanowires replacing electrons? Neat, but what will replace the protons and neutrons?

Ummm... (0, Redundant)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204901)

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:Ummm... (2, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204939)

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.

Obligatory binary joke (1)

scarpa (105251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205407)

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Re:Obligatory binary joke (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206209)

I believe there are two kinds of people in the world: population bifurcators, and NON-population bifurcators.

Re:Obligatory binary joke (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206301)

There are two types of people in the world: Those who think there are two types of people in the world and those who know better.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#21209435)

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 !

4 times the storage (1, Funny)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204909)

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:4 times the storage (2, Insightful)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204955)

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.

Re:4 times the storage (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204981)

Oh right. That makes sense. I forgot to take into account that a bit has two states already.

Re:4 times the storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21206441)

No. The number of possible states is also doubled (not quadrupled).

Yes, you are. (4, Funny)

raygundan (16760) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204979)

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.

Re:Yes, you are. (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207305)

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!

Re:4 times the storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204983)

The capacity would be doubled, 2 bits versus 1 bit. (Or, if we take the quote literally, and assume that '10' and '11' can not be represented, then capacity would remain the same.)

Twice the space? (4, Funny)

Mean Mr. Mycroft (968125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204951)

Sounds like a two-bit technology to me.

Full-scale prototype? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204991)

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 me know. In the mean time, typical hard drives keep increasing in space, while decreasing in size and price, even years after people keep insisting they've hit a wall and can't go any further. We just got a server in, with a full bank of 500 gig HDDs, each were the tiny laptop size. I can recall when they were struggling to produce 10 and 15 meg HDDs. And then we have flash storage, and solid-state technology, both which have working retail solutions today.

So please don't tell me what you might sell me 10 years from now, when you don't even have a prototype.

Re:Full-scale prototype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21208119)

I can recall when they were struggling to produce 10 and 15 meg HDDs. And then we have flash storage, and solid-state technology, both which have working retail solutions today.

Whoa there grandpa...the world truly has become a magical place hasn't it?

hmm.... (-1, Offtopic)

blacklabelrum (1183069) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205095)

ahh... this is my first post......

Re:hmm.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205283)

ahh... this is my first post......
You must be new here.

Will nanotech replace the drives... (1)

Slippy. (42536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205097)

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.

Partially Covered Here Before (1)

Mr. Fahrenheit (962814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205159)

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.

Re:Partially Covered Here Before (1)

Mr. Fahrenheit (962814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205187)

ooops. linky [slashdot.org]

Two words apply to on this prediction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205161)

Bubble memory!

nanowhat? The maliability of words (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

IBM sold their disk drive division.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205231)

Going from inventing the disk drive on through a whole series of continuing innovations, IBM ended up selling off their drive business to Hitachi last year or so. Perhaps one of the reasons is that in the long
term, they figure that disk drives are not going to be a technology driver.

More market bull poopie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205239)

I'm not even going to bother RTFM... with all the "leaps in technology" that have been promised over the years I should already have a couple terabytes in [take your pick of mediums - I am partial to grown crystals and fairy tears] memory sitting in my pocket MP3 player, with access speeds 100X faster than what has been available. Instead, I'm sitting here with the same HD technology and speeds in my computer that has been available for over a decade... and the price is still too high.

'nuff said.

Re:More market bull poopie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21206263)

> I'm sitting here with the same HD technology and speeds in my computer that has been available for over a decade... and the price is still too high.

Thirty cents a gigabyte is too high-priced for you? ...you are indeed spoiled, my son.

nanotube stocks (1)

planckscale (579258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205251)

Which companies produce these amazing tubes and do they offer stocks?

Wow (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205259)

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... (2, Insightful)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205571)

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".

Re:Stupid... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205915)

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 redirected to "flash drive". Most times, you'll see reporters making that mistake, but VERY few geeks... Just check your favorite search engine for the NUMBER of results for each term if you think I'm kiddin'.

Let's just say I'll be happy to concede the point when you can show me the "disk" in a "flash disk".

Re:Stupid... (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 5 years ago | (#21206607)

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 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".

Re:Stupid... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#21206779)

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]

Re:Stupid... (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 5 years ago | (#21208101)

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 wrong, and it's in widespread use.

Ya want positive or negative drive?

You're doing it wrong. Try electric motors [wikipedia.org] , the things they use, to, you know, spin the disks. Making them "disk drives". While another use of the word might seem convenient, it most certainly isn't where the term originated, which is well known to be first fro m the motor driver in the electronic hard disk, to the appearance of that disk drive in the computer, to the term "drive" staying, much in the same way as the equally inappropriate "disk" also remains (as you've demonstrated both via Wiki and various crawlers).

Explain to me why we wont be using holocrystals? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205789)

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 stored in the traditional binary or in microfilm style images, and can, when all else fails, be accessed visually.

misster anderson, one of these mediums has a future, the other does not, and the choice is yours.

Disk drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205837)

Oh no, death of the floppy!

11 (2, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206095)

Gives new meaning to, "but this one goes to 11"

Hard drives are nanotech (2)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

No, it won't replace HDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21206317)

Bad title aside, let's assume that "nanotech" means some variation of flash drives (otherwise, what exactly is replacing hard drives?). No matter what this tech turns out to be, and even assuming that it does come out and hits market saturation within 10 years, it is not going to replace hard drives for at least another 10. Hard drives have way too much of a legacy, and that includes cost benefit. You might be able to give us a 1TB flash drive in 10 years' time, but at what cost, and how big will HDs be by then?

Certainly, there will be increased competition for traditional HD technology, but replacing it outright is not going to happen for a long time. This is yet another sensationalist headline trying to make people think you can just up and replace a definitive component of a PC. There are still people buying CRTs today, and flat screens are a much more dramatic improvement than a flash disk.

Who needs storage anyway? (2, Insightful)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Solid state storage can do things disks can't (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206449)

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.

Cells (1)

r0b!n (1009159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21206485)

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

Bloody 2 bit computer.

Smaller is better? (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#21206747)

So I lose ten years of data when a fruit fly tries to mate with the storage medium. Perfect.

vaporware sux (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207373)

Last time I purchased a vaporware product it just left my pockets all steamy.

In ten years...? (1)

healyje (920021) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207597)

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.

That small? (1)

jtgd (807477) | more than 5 years ago | (#21207725)

Nanowires (which replace electrons/capacitors)

YIIKES! I didn't realize they were making nanowires small enough to replace electrons!!!

Great! A new HDD replacement technology! (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#21208719)

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,.....

Why not mechanical (1)

Karellen (104380) | more than 5 years ago | (#21209037)

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.
 
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