We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Keele hauls memory into 21st century

British boffins boost digital storage

In two years mobile phones could have 250 times more memory than the hard disks in today’s desktop PCs, thanks to a new storage technology developed by Keele University scientists.

Professor Ted Williams’ team at Keele has produced a memory system which provides 10.8 terabytes (TB) of random access memory on an area the size of a credit card. A terabyte is 1,000GB. Just to show how much this is, the internet music service Napster is serving between 2-4TB of data at any one time, with around 40 million users.

The technology dwarfs the 40GB hard disc found on top-range modern PCs and makes the latest advances in conventional memory look almost insignificant: Samsung has just announced it is to produce 4GB memory chips using 0.10um designs. Using well-known techniques this is a serious advancement, but compared to the Keele work it's peanuts.

The Keele memory system – each square centimetre of the device contains a closed circuit for recording data and a fibre-optic reader – contains no moving parts, and can be made for less than $50, Prof. Williams says.

Keele scientists have also made giant steps forward in text compression, optical storage and data transfer.

Using their compression software, text can be squeezed into an eighth of the memory it currently requires; improved coatings can boost optical disc capacity by 30 times; and new ways of recording and reading data can quadruple the capacity of magneto-optical discs.

Patents for the technologies are being processed, and the University has formed a company, Keele High Density, to commercialise the inventions and find partners to make them.

see more recent background

IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

See how Trunk's animated ad helped Ade Edmondson plug The Car Buying Service

IDG UK Sites

Yosemite tips: Complete Guide to OS X Yosemite