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Isolinear chip

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A PADD, showing its isolinear chip

Isolinear Chips

A pile of isolinear chips

Shimoda plays with isolinear chips

Jim Shimoda, with a makeshift tower of isolinear chips

Isolinear optical chips (or just isolinear chips) were data storage devices utilized in various forms of technology. They were used to enable warp drive in Galaxy-class vessels, store memory in Starfleet PADDs and were a primary component of Danube-class runabouts computers. Isolinear chips were also capable of storing television programs. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "A Fistful of Datas", DS9: "The Jem'Hadar"; VOY: "Memorial")

Optical data chips were foreseen as early as the mid-1990s, and were expected to be a future development by Chronowerx Industries by the magazine Technology Future. (VOY: "Future's End")

They were often featured on board nanotech processors to aid in memory access and with a maximum capacity of 2.15 kiloquads. Though normally easily corrupted, chips could be coated with a layer of clear plastic for protection in environments more hostile than a computer core without affecting read and write capabilities; these strengthened chips were commonly used in tricorders, PADDs, and other handheld devices with isolinear chip drives. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual)

According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, without the protective coating the user had to wear special gloves to remove the isolinear chip.

In 2378, following Operation Watson when the USS Voyager could have short periods of live contact with Earth every day, Neelix put 146 sequentially numbered isolinear chips in his hat for the crew to pull - to see in which order they would be able to contact their friends and family. (VOY: "Author, Author")

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