MP3 players 'will hold millions of songs'
New technology could increase memory size by millions
A new generation of MP3 players could provide music lovers with millions of songs at their fingertips, it has been revealed.
Scientists have developed a way of dramatically increasing the memory on iPods and other gadgets while retaining their small size. Future devices could store 150,000 times the amount of current models, according to researchers at Glasgow University.
They have created a tiny switch which would see 500,000-one million gigabytes squeezed on to one square inch. The current limit is around 3.3 gigabytes.
The technology is being developed along with scientists at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington. Dr Vin Dhanak of the laboratory said: "This research shows that the potential is there for your future iPod to have hundreds of thousands times more capacity to store music and video than currently possible."
The molecular switch is controlled by taking nanoparticles, each a millionth of a millimetre in size, and placing them on to a gold or carbon surface.
Dr Dhanak said the team now faced the challenge of resolving "fabrication issues" surrounding the device.
Professor Lee Cronin, of Glasgow University, said: "What we have done is find a way to potentially increase the data storage capabilities in a radical way."
The research is reported in this month's edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.