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Search underway for breakthrough in digital memory

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to make unmanned drones fly farther on their batteries and make electronic equipment lighter for American soldiers to carry, so it is launching a research project into new ways to increase the storage of digital information, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The objective is to advance memory capabilities by quantum leaps by making the magnetic functions on computer chips much smaller, in turn cutting the energy required to operate.

It could make the hardware much lighter and more portable by cutting the battery capacity needed to run it.

One official explained that if the program is successful, manned and unmanned aircraft could fly with much less battery weight on board, allowing them to fly longer and farther, and troops would have fewer batteries to carry on missions, lightening their load.

The issue is the core of digital memory, the microscopic arrays of “magnetic moments” that are read as the ones and zeros that produce images, text, programs, and even audio and video on computers.

“When aligned in parallel in ferromagnetic materials such as iron, these moments create patterns and streams of magnetic bits – the ones and zeros that are the lifeblood of all things digital,” the agency explained.

But making them too small makes them unstable.

The magnetic elements “start to wobble out of alignment when the size of the bit gets too small and the interaction energy keeping them aligned is exceeded by the surrounding thermal energy,” the agency explained.

But the agency’s Topological Excitations in Electronics program “aims to investigate new ways to arrange these moments in novel geometries that are much more stable than the conventional parallel arrangement.”

“If successful, these new configurations could enable bits of data to be made radically smaller than possible today, potentially yielding a 100-fold increase in the amount of storage achievable on a chip,” the agency said.

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.