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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 runabout computers. Isolinear chips were also capable of storing television programs. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "A Fistful of Datas", DS9: "The Jem'Hadar"; VOY: "Memorial") They replaced the less efficient duotronic enhancers about forty years prior to 2369. (TNG: "Relics")

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")

In 2371, the complete library of the USS Voyager was downloaded onto isolinear chips for trade with the Sikarians and their spatial trajector. (VOY: "Prime Factors")

One of the isolinear chips is numbered "47". The call sheet listed computer chips and microchips in the props section for the day of filming while the shooting schedule (p. 1) listed microchips.

In 2378, following Operation Watson when 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")

In the first draft script of DS9: "When It Rains...", Chief Miles O'Brien remotely analyzed, from Deep Space 9's infirmary, a particular set of isolinear chips in Starfleet Medical's main computer. This specific group of isolinear chips held the results of a series of scans that Odo had been subjected to while on Earth (in the timeframe of "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost"). As O'Brien began to conduct his analysis on these isolinear chips, he told Doctor Julian Bashir that, if someone had tampered with them, a trace resonance signature would be evident.
According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, isolinear chips featured onboard nanotech processors to aid in memory access and had 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, and could be handled without using special gloves.

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