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Morphing Memory

Superfast atom shuffling inspires data-storage alternatives

Anyone who purchases an electronic camera, cell phone, voice recorder, travel disk, or PDA, typically brings home a stick, card, or some other medium containing a chip ready to store information via a technology known as flash memory. Last year, consumers worldwide bought almost $12 billion worth of flash products, which depend on electrons to store data. The semiconductor industry expects global demand to surpass $18 billion by 2007.

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