1956 to 2020 storage device.

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
14,676
I knew someone who worked in sales at IBM and he tagged along for their first installation of a megabit memory array that cost $1M. It's been years since that conversation, but I'm pretty certain it was core memory.
 

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
584
What is the theoretical limit for information storage? I would imagine it's infinitesimal / infinite across any medium but electronically speaking..
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
5,492
What is the theoretical limit for information storage? I would imagine it's infinitesimal / infinite across any medium but electronically speaking..
If it wasn't for quantum effects, you could store one bit with one electron.
Unfortunately, Heisenberg says you might not know where it is.
 

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
584
If it wasn't for quantum effects, you could store one bit with one electron.
Unfortunately, Heisenberg says you might not know where it is.
I was watching ancient aliens and they made a statement which I'm paraphrasing: If intelligent beings wanted to leave a message that would stand the test of time, how would they store this message?
 

AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
10,096
What is the theoretical limit for information storage? I would imagine it's infinitesimal / infinite across any medium but electronically speaking..
Moore's Law hints at one aspect of this, the minimum physical structure to store 1 bit / byte / unit of information. It does not address the upper limit - how big a storage array can become before it is too unweildly to be useful. With core memory we got to watch the technology approach some kind of asymptotic limit as the tech got more and more refined, at a slower and slower pace. The rise of solid state memory ended the core experiment before it actually plateaued.

Meanwhile, over in my yard, here's a photo heralding a different technology that burst onto the scene in 1956. For the 2020 version, look at your phone.

https://eyesofageneration.com/april-14-1956-videotape-recording-debuts-ampex-vr-1000-unveiled/

VR-1000-5612158.jpg

I used to run one of these (plus an assortment of others). Not shown in the photo are the two full-height equipment racks full of empty-state devices. The next year, they added a third rack for color.

The guy third from the left was the baby on the team, Ray Dolby .

ak
 
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ZCochran98

Joined Jul 24, 2018
199
If it wasn't for quantum effects, you could store one bit with one electron.
Unfortunately, Heisenberg says you might not know where it is.
If you formed a metallic hydrogen lattice (or perhaps even just "solid" hydrogen...without more research, I'd hazard that probably better to use metallic) you might be able to force one electron per hydrogen site, and then measure a "0" or "1" based on the spin state of the electron at that site. The technical challenge, of course, would be immense (even just making the solid or metallic hydrogen requires stupid temperature and/or pressure requirements), and you'd have to assert that by measuring the spin you didn't change the spin (due to interactions with an external magnetic field).... Not to mention this storage medium would probably be inherently unstable due to a variety of effects.
So with quantum effects, you could, feasibly, still store a bit with one electron. But back to your point, it may not the easiest or most...stable bit.
 
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