London: Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have created a tiny device that improves on existing forms of memory storage, paving the way for fast, low-energy memory for MP3 players, smartphones and cameras.
Usually, electronic devices convert data into signals that are stored as binary code.
This latest method uses a tiny mechanical arm to translate the data into electrical signals. This allows for much faster operation and uses much less energy compared to conventional memory storage.
The device records data by measuring the current passing through a carbon nanotube, and the binary value of the data is determined by an electrode that controls the flow of current.
Scientists said it could offer gadget designers a way to create faster devices with reduced power consumption.
"This is a novel approach to designing memory storage devices. Using a mechanical method combined with the benefits of nanotechnology enables a system with superior speed and energy efficiency compared with existing devices," said Prof Eleanor Campbell of the University of Edinburgh``s School of Chemistry.
The research was carried out in collaboration with Konkuk University and Seoul National University, Korea.
The finding appears in Nature Communications.