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New mega chip for digital file storage...

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 1999 at 04:00 GMT

This from one of our readers from Amateur Photographer (UK):

Scientists from Cambridge University and Hitachi have developed technology that is likely to produce digital cameras which can store millions of images. The recent breakthrough in memory chip technology could make the problems of solid state, ie computer chip storage of memory hungry data - such as high quality digital images, sounds and video - a thing of the past. It now seems a single memory chip the size of a thumbnail, that is capable of instantly storing or accessing all the sounds and images of a feature length movie, will be manufactured in the future.

The chip also consumes much less power than previous types of silicone chip - a real boon for digital camera users. Where current cameras have to rely on a CompactFlash or SmartMedia memory card which can store relatively few images - even on the 16 or 32Mb cards - the new memory chips could allow thousands, or even millions, of images to be stored and accessed instantaneously via a single memory chip.

The Anglo-Japanese team has been funded for the past ten years by Hitachi, and the fresh semi-conductor technology called PLEDM (Phase-state Low Electron (hole) number Drive Memory) is its first commercial development. David Williams, Croup Leader at the Hitachi/Cambridge University labs said:�When the new chips are introduced, probably around 2006, we anticipate they�ll be introduced with gigabyte technology capabilities. You�ll have instant access to huge files.� The University team says the new chips are so powerful, they will even be able to totally replace storage media like computer hard disk drives.

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