London, April 16 : Scientists have come up with a way to significantly boost the memory of MP3 players and other gadgets while retaining their small size, an advance that may open the door to iPods with a storage capacity of millions of songs.
While the biggest iPod memory to date can store 40,000 songs, Glasgow University researchers believe that their work may pave the way for devices that can store 150,000 times more songs.
The researchers reckon that in theory, future gadgets may have enough memory to store about 300 million songs.
Describing their achievement, the researchers said that they created a miniscule switch that could squeeze up to one million gigabytes of memory on to one square inch.
"What we have done is find a way to increase the data storage capabilities in a radical way," British tabloid The Sun quoted Professor Lee Cronin as saying.
The research team revealed that the molecular switch is controlled by taking nanoparticles, each a millionth of a millimetre in size, and placing them on a gold or carbon surface.
Dr Vin Dhanak of the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, which is also associated with the project, said: "This research shows the potential is there for your future iPod to have hundreds of thousands times more capacity to store music and video than is currently possible."
He has revealed that the biggest challenge before the team now is to resolve "fabrication issues".