Nanotechnology seen as solution for growing need of data storage

Chicago (IL) - Nanotechnology soon could emerge as a universal storage solution for a broad range of devices. A report released today by research firm NanoMarkets suggests that the technology is likely to succeed popular storage solutions such as Flash and mini harddrives to cope with virtually unlimited amounts of information.

Memory research has been focusing for some years on looking for a successor such as Flash and harddrives. Lawrence Gasman, chief analyst at NanoMarkets, believes that nanostorage will be the ultimate storage solution, re-innovating the storage industry.

The company is the first research firm which believes that nanotechnology could become a "universal" solution, as fast and simple as SRAM, as small a DRAM, non-volatile like Flash and with a new dimension of storage capacity. By 2020, the chip industry will be entirely different from today, using nanolithographic and nano-assembly techniques to build nanostorage and nanoprocessors, Gasman wrote.

Until recently, the major semiconductor players said that such a universal memory might never be developed. "I do not think that there is a perfect storage technology," said Stefan Lai, Vice President of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, in a 2002 interview.

According to Gasman, nanotechnology will be "road-tested" in the next few years and provide completely new devices "that today's consumers do not yet know they need." Besides storage capacity, nanostorage will deliver intelligent databases which do not only find data but create missing links and produce new associations, resulting in self-reapiring data warehouses, the analyst said. Gasman also believes that "nanostorage could mean the end of disk drives as we know them", and that the harddrive market "will be overtaken by chip-based memory".