Researchers' discovery could lead to super crypto chips

    Date01 Mar 2010
    CategoryCryptography
    2800
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Crystals could lead to super security chips that would make extraction of data more complex and so more difficult for attackers to decrypt. Researchers at Florida State University have discovered crystals that could lead to super security chips as well as contribute to the discovery of materials that expand the capacity of electronic storage devices by 1,000 to 1 million times. The security chips could store encrypted data written two different ways -- electrically and magnetically -- making extraction of the data more complex and so more difficult for attackers to decrypt.

    If they have success developing a new storage medium, devices the size of a current 1GB storage components could hold an Exabyte -- a million million bytes -- of data.

    The researchers, headed up by professors Harry Kroto, a Nobel laureate, and Naresh Dalal, also say these crystals can be made using less toxic and more readily available materials than current chip materials that almost always include lead. The new materials would use manganese and iron instead, Dalal says.

    The main purpose of their research is to find materials whose crystalline structure can be used as the building blocks of digital circuits. Kroto calls this bottom-up design where the material itself provides the capacity to store data rather than top-down design in which structure needed to store data electronically are imposed on the surface of another medium. "The next stage would be reduction in size of storage elements," he says.

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