Future memory chips could use arrays of magnetic nanodots to store information, depending of ferromagnitism. Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) already exists today, but its density is much lower than other memory technologies like flash. These researchers aim to turn that around. Look for nanodot based memory prototypes within three years, and if they prove scalable, commercial chips in 7 to 10 years. R.C.J.
Researchers at North Carolina State University said they were able to read and write bits at room temperature using magnetic nanodots that delivered 1 terabit of memory per square centimeter. The ferromagnetic film on which the nanodots were based could lead to ultra-dense memory chips that store bits in the magnetic spin--either up or down--of each nanodot. The nanodots themselves are composed of clusters of a magnetic nickel alloy that the researchers said precipitates into nanodots about 10 nanometers in diameter. They are composed of about 10,000 atoms. The nanodots make good candidates for magnetic memory chips since they automatically line up in the rows and columns needed by memory chips.