Computer-makers are always looking for ways to make stuff smaller, faster and run more efficiently. I.B.M. is showing off a new storage device that should capitalize on this trinity. The journal Science released I.B.M.’s findings yesterday in a report. The New York Times reports: “Until now, the most advanced magnetic storage systems have needed about one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0. The new achievement is the product of a heated international race between elite physics laboratories to explore the properties of magnetic materials at a far smaller scale.” And in this case, “far smaller scale” means 12 measly atoms! I know, 12!

There’s still a lot of experimenting and fine-tuning that needs to happen before we ever see this technology in use, but I.B.M. researchers say this could be the foundation upon which computers more powerful than today’s supercomputers, are built.