Switch paves way for super iPods

A breakthrough in technology could see the memory capacity of devices such as the iPod increase by 150,000 times, Glasgow University researchers claimed.

Two experts said they had developed a molecule-sized switch which means that data storage could be boosted without having to increase the size of devices.

The biggest iPod MP3 player currently available can hold about 40,000 songs.

However, new nanotechnology could theoretically allow users to store millions of video and music tracks.

Professor Lee Cronin and Dr Malcolm Kadodwala, from the university's chemistry department, said their work could see 500,000 gigabytes squeezed into a microchip no bigger than a two pence piece.

View: BBC News

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45 Comments

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The technology has to do with storage... Apple doesn't appear to have anything to do with the research...so why is the ipod mentioned at all? Probably just to stir attention towards the article, but still lame none-the-less.

I always love when they compare something to currency size which not the entire world knows.... so not being to the UK lately how big is a pence anyways?

As soon as I read this, I got the feeling that this technology will be hard pressed to see the light of day. Who's going to let something like this get released? - Essentially it's an infinite amount of space because *most* users do not have this much media to store on an ipod (audio, video, pictures) and companies may see this as a loss if they release something like this to the public. There would never be a need for consumers to upgrade!

But thats just my initial thought...

(Skyfrog said @ #17.1)
Seriously, I've noticed this too. It's really annoying.

I'm sure the iPod reference was not meant seriously. Of course there are other applications but the fact that they associate it with music and video players makes me think that the speed of data transfer is not sufficient (yet) for other applications (read: servers).

It's always nice to hear that corporations are investing in this kind of development and are achieving nice results. These articles are not to be understood as technologies that will be used next year or so. Of course on a forum like this you'd expect people to discuss technologies that are more 'current'.

(Gally said @ #16)
Great, that should just about be enough for my music collection. but really, who needs that much space.

640 kb ought to be enough for anybody!

(SirEvan said @ #16.1)

640 kb ought to be enough for anybody!

Well, that was actually true when apps were only 5-40K. Now even an archiver like WinRar wouldn't fit in 640K...

I am tired of these news ... news is when something gets on the market and people can buy it ... this is just breakthrough .... not even viable yet

Good job to those scientists but I want to know the reality of the technology. Is it plausible for use in current products? How good is it (i.e. how long will it live/how reliable is the data being store from not corrupting) How far off is it for use in products? How expensive is it?

I think they just report it this way so people who know nothing about computers have a real sense of what the technology can offer

it'd be good but it'd be nice to see some of this sort of research eventuate within the decade AND at an affordable price. We hear these stories every 6 months at least but most won't eventuate to much any time soon. Still, it's good for progress and I imagine the iPod will be quite far down on the list of areas that could really benefit from the storage.

yep, eventually we need a new data storage method as the current system has its limitations. i guess the same is true for processors as well.

this aritcle just makes me laugh though, bbc news obviously has so little knowledge of technology that they can't think of anything better that this technology than better ipods. it's just ridiculous i mean this is incredibly high capacity storage on a tiny CARBON chip. it would revolutionize electronics, but no bbc news is probably right just keep it for the ipods

It's always nice to see more of those supposed technological advancements. A lot of people are trying to make a real breakthrough and take data storage to another level, And it is a welcomed effort.

And as always, Until a practical usage is possible, This is nothing but a nice dream.

*yawn* countless times we have seen these stories about new technologies and ideas that will "revolutionize" the way we do something and countless times qe end up never seeing the idea come into the light. this could be for many reasons, say failire somewhere in the product development that either sets the company back many years in the devolpment or halts the devolpment all together. the best explanation though is corporate politics and bullying. a good example of this is hybrid fuel technology replacing convetional gasoline/petrol idustry. heck, i once saw a guy who came up with a technology that would run a car off of water by converting it to hydrogen, never have heard anything else, had to be the gasoline and oil companies either bought his technology or paid him off to never let it see the light. its corporate greed, power, and money that is ruining our future, the refusal of these companies to accecpt new ideas and thinking and realzie that their way of doing things may not be the best for all. this world is doomed because of corporate greed. the world was a much better place when the control of the economy was in the little mans hands. conservatisim shall bring the world to its knees.

(Crysis Addict said @ #4)
*yawn* countless times we have seen these stories about new technologies and ideas that will "revolutionize" the way we do something and countless times qe end up never seeing the idea come into the light. this could be for many reasons, say failire somewhere in the product development that either sets the company back many years in the devolpment or halts the devolpment all together. the best explanation though is corporate politics and bullying. a good example of this is hybrid fuel technology replacing convetional gasoline/petrol idustry. heck, i once saw a guy who came up with a technology that would run a car off of water by converting it to hydrogen, never have heard anything else, had to be the gasoline and oil companies either bought his technology or paid him off to never let it see the light. its corporate greed, power, and money that is ruining our future, the refusal of these companies to accecpt new ideas and thinking and realzie that their way of doing things may not be the best for all. this world is doomed because of corporate greed. the world was a much better place when the control of the economy was in the little mans hands. conservatisim shall bring the world to its knees.

+1

And you are correct about the Water Car. The car that ran on water was invented in the late 70's but was then bought by Shell. Additionally, a material made of hemp to replace plastics will soon also be hard to find because various governents are trying to ban it because idiotic politicians believe you can get "high" off it, even though thats not the case.

(Titoist said @ #4.1)
Additionally, a material made of hemp to replace plastics will soon also be hard to find because various governents are trying to ban it because idiotic politicians believe you can get "high" off it, even though thats not the case.
Forget hemp, they are already making "plastic" out of corn. I bought something recently that was incased in a "Entirely Made from Corn" container. It looked and felt exactly like plastic. It was certainly news to me.

Thing is, once it's released, would anyone really be willing to pay �200,000 (rough guess :P) for a 500,000GB iPod?

Plus the thousands you'll have to spend on music to fill it up

what is this 'spend' ?
With the introduction of more storage memory we'd probably see bit rates go up too, meaning less tracks per unit of memory.

that is pretty cool, but why waste the title on 'super ipods'? this technology has MUCH more potential than just that....

That technology would be of little use in an Ipod since the majority of people using them are so dense they couldn't fill the model they have now, they just walked into a shop and asked for the player their friends have

(trip21 said @ #2.3)
That technology would be of little use in an Ipod since the majority of people using them are so dense they couldn't fill the model they have now, they just walked into a shop and asked for the player their friends have
Most people actually ask specifically for iPods. Maybe I just live in a smarter area than you