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Bay Area Company's Chip Promises Big Leaps In Storage, Battery Life

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A tech company based in the Bay Area is on the verge of introducing a chip that could solve the biggest problems of today's gadgets.

Developers at Crossbar told KPIX 5 that they have a new chip that can process information so fast and efficiently, it will extend battery life up to a week, maybe even two.

But that's not all. One chip can hold a terabyte of information. A portable hard drive is needed to store that much data now.

Dr. George Minassian, CEO of Crossbar, said "this device is so fast, some of the other components you needed to compensate for the speed, you don't need anymore."

The chip looks similar to what is already in an iPad. But the amount of memory is equivalent to 16 iPads. And the amount of energy it uses to store or read content is 20 times smaller than anything that's used today.

Brian Cooley, an editor at CNet, said this can be a game changer in the technology world.

"Think of anything you use today that has a hard drive, a desktop a laptop, your DVR for example, and a lot of other products - even your car. This technology could take that hard drive out, therefore reducing the size it consumes, the power it consumes, the heat it generates and the noise it makes," Cooley said.

But as far as storage, Cooley said we are almost to the point of not needing it. Many people tend to store their data in the cloud rather than on their device.

When it comes to storage, Crossbar believes more is always better. You may soon be able to have 35,000 photos stored on your smartphone when the new chip hits the market in about a year.

The professor who developed the chip said it started with an accidental discovery. He applied extra voltage to a tiny wire that contained silicon.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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