Computer Punch Cards Making a Comeback?
IBM researchers have gone back to the pioneering days of computers to create a novel method of storing data. A miniaturized version of the punch cards used in some of the earliest computers has helped the company store the equivalent of 25 million pages of text in a space no bigger than a postage stamp. The technology, dubbed "Millipede," records individual bits of data using tiny heated levers to make holes in a plastic film. The whole array of 1024 levers is only 3 mm square. Each lever is 0.5 mm thick and 70 mm long. A complex heating and cooling process is used to read the bits from the film.