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 Mar 15, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
* Mechanical solid-state memory?

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
It's like an old paper-roll piano player, but not... IBM's come up with a memory system that stores data by poking holes in plastic.

The Millipede chip achieves this by having an array of tens of thousands of silicon cantilevers, explains IBM researcher Evangelos Eleftheriou. Each has a pointed tip that writes data by poking holes - representing a digital 0 or 1 - in the soft polymer below. The cantilever also reads the data when needed, by measuring a change in its electrical resistance when it drops into a hole.

Electromagnetic actuators within the chip package move the polymer film beneath the cantilevers so that each tip can read and write within a 100-micrometre-square area. Data is erased using a heater in each cantilever which melts the polymer locally, smoothing the pits over for re-use.
Interesting idea, though with the heat/reheat cycle it probably will have issues with being written and rewritten over and over again.
 

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