IBM today announced that it has found a way to store data at the atomic level. Researchers at Big Blue demonstrated that they can hold on to a bit of data with just 12 magnetic atoms. Today's disk drives require as much as 1 million atoms to store a bit.
In this image, IBM shows a magnetic byte five times in various magnetic states. The white signal at the right edge means logic zero, while the blue signal corresponds to logic one. "Between two successive images the magnetic states of the bits were switched to encode the binary representation of the ASCII characters 'THINK,' according to IBM.