Nanotube could mean evolution of storage devices
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Nanotube could mean evolution of storage devices

In the last 60 years, a number of different hardware storage devices have come and gone, all with varying levels of success. Much of this has to do with how flexible they are and how cost effective it seems to companies to employ these new solutions. In many cases, these methods are abandoned, but modern tools play tribute to those that have seen the greatest success over time. Disk, tape, Flash and cloud implementations seem here to stay, but each has its own difficulties and shortcomings that make it unappealing to entities for one reason or another.

The last few months have given rise to a pair of new device solutions that seem equally unlikely to succeed, though IBM touts one as far more viable than the other. With such substantial backing, it could be that nanotube storage and information management could be the wave of the future.

Making new wavesNot long ago, Hitachi announced it had come up with a way of putting massive amounts of information into a piece of quartz, created by melting a series of dots into a piece of weather-resistant glass, which can then be read back using a specialized microscope. While this form of storage may be able to safely and securely store information for thousands of years, Cloud Times wrote, it is highly impractical and expensive for most companies to employ. Similarly, Harvard University uncovered a way to write data to DNA and print it in mass volumes, Extreme Tech wrote, but this is also constructively expensive and impractical.

These innovations in hardware technology show that there is still plenty of ground to be covered in terms of finding new, secure forms of storage and information transportation. While the cloud may offer higher levels of collaboration and connectivity, it does not necessarily create the most secure network in terms of corporate continuity. For that, other businesses have found ways of building more practical solutions.

A better futureIBM has come up with a tool that is both state-of-the-art and affordable, tapping into resources that many experts have long suspected of being more versatile than they have proven in the past. According to PC Magazine, scientists have finally made headway in using carbon nanotubes in a way that makes them more accessible to storage features.

Its newest creation involves nanotubes, carbon atoms structured into cylindrical shapes, which the company hopes will replace its current chip technology, CNET reported. IBM wants an option that can store deeper volumes of information in the same square inch as its previous devices without using any extra resources, allowing computers and drives to run just as efficiently but without the additional strain a larger resource might incur. The company has created a tool with more than 10,000 transistors, making it one of the largest arrays in existence for devices of its size. As a replacement for older silicon chips, IBM hopesl that nanotubes will be able to revitalize the industry and create a more affordable solution with more storage capability.

IBM told the New York Times that it intends to create purer nanotube specimens in the future, which will allow for faster storage transference times and higher accuracy in hardware arrays. These forms of technology, even glass and DNA, show that there are still huge leaps in technology for manufacturers to go through. The future of information storage is just as varied as the data it is meant to store.