Technology: The future, dot by dot

Remember these colorful candy dots on long strips of paper? Now there are nanodots. They may not be as as colorful but, in the future, may be just as sweet.

Tired of carrying around your family history paper charts, or using an iPhone that gets heavier as you add data to various genealogy apps?

Yes, Tracing the Tribe knows that iPhones really don’t get heavier as you add information. Just wanted to get your attention.

In any case, North Carolina State University researchers have developed a computer chip that can store a huge amount of data – an entire library’s information on a single chip – using nanodots.

The single crystal nanodots create magnetic sensors integrated into a silicon electronic chip. Yes, I know that your eyes just glazed over, except for the techies out there.

“We have created magnetic nanodots that store one bit of information on each nanodot, allowing us to store over one billion pages of information in a chip that is one square inch,” says Dr. Jay Narayan, the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State and author of the research.

However, the question is how this new technology may help genealogists, database developers and others. And more technology must be developed to utilize it properly.

The entire Ellis Island Database, along with Steve Morse’s rainbow of One-Step search forms, all the federal censuses? Everything on one tiny chip? Stick it in some sort of reader to be developed and you might not even need the Internet. Ha!

Read more about the “Self Assembly of epitaxial magnetic nanostructures” at the link above

What uses can you think up for such an item? The future is here.

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