Nanotech will replace disk drives in 10 years, researcher says

Removing drives would make iPods, laptops and servers lighter, faster and more rugged

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However, Kozicki said he's also working on changing the way we store data now. Traditionally, information has been stored as electrons in cells. He is working on using nanowires to hold the data, using less energy and taking up less space than the capacitors that store the electrons.

"There's some fascinating things here," he added. "And interest in this has been keen."

Just last week, a professor and researcher at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics said he has made important strides in handling nanowires.

Michael Zaiser told Computerworld that he has been studying how tiny wires -- 1,000 times thinner than a human hair -- behave when manipulated. He explained that each miniscule wire tends to behave differently when put under the same amount of pressure. Therefore, it has been impossible to line them up close to each other in tiny microprocessors in a production atmosphere.

Zaiser said he's now figured out how to make the wires behave uniformly. He separates the interior material of the wire into distinct groups so the wire can't react as a whole. That makes it much easier to control. "It's like crowd control," he added. "If they can all go one way, you have a big mess."

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