Polymer memory tabs could replace CDs

— 12:55 PM on November 13, 2003

Ananova is running an interesting article on a fancy polymer that could make CDs obsolete:

PEDOT, which is clear and conducts electricity, has been used for years as an anti-static coating on photographic film. Researchers looked at ways of using PEDOT to store digital information. In the new memory card, data in the form of ones and zeroes would be represented by polymer pixels.

When information is recorded, higher voltages at certain points in the circuit grid would "blow" the PEDOT fuses at those points. As a result, data is permanently etched into the device. A blown fuse would from then on be read as a zero, while an unblown one that lets current pass through is read as a one.

PEDOT memory tabs have a storage density of over a gigabyte per cubic centimeter and can be read directly by electronic circuits without any moving parts. With that kind of storage density, a reasonably-sized memory tab could challenge not only CDs, but also DVD media.

The article doesn't mention how much PEDOT-based memory tabs would cost to produce or write with data, which seems like one of the most important variables to consider. Since the tabs are write-once, it's probably safe to assume that they'll be much cheaper than rewritable media.

Thanks to our own Dr. Evil for the tip.

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