How many DVDs can dance on a postage stamp? 25 of them, if the stamp in question is IBM’s new prototype Millipede storage chip.
The Millipede is essentially a punch card (anyone remember punch cards?) on an incredibly small scale. How small? You can fit a trillion bits (better known to geeks as a terabit) into one hole on an old-fashioned paper punch card. And it’s rewritable.
The technology involved in this is pretty mindboggling, at least to me. And it’s not ready for the consumer market yet. No doubt the first Millipedes to hit the market will be expensive, but pretty soon after that, we’ll see a lot of high-capacity lightweight storage devices, and flash memory may go the way of the 5.25″ disk.
Unfortunately, what we’ll also see is increasingly bloated new software and file formats which eat up all that storage space and leave us essentially where we were.