IBM near finish line with Racetrack Memory, promises terabytes for mobile devices
IBM has announced it has made huge progress in the development of its Racetrack Memory, a new type of storage and access memory that will offer a tremendous boost in read/write performance over current solutions, and up to 100 times the storage. The technology is apparently also very energy efficient.
All this put together implies a future where a single tablet could hold terabytes of data and provide weeks worth of battery life. The Racetrack Memory Project’s design works with “racetrack” nanowire channels providing the transport of data stored between two magnetic domains. These nanowires will enable information to present itself, along the racetrack, directly to the computer to be used, instead of time and energy being spent by the computer seeking the data. Magnetic domains are nothing new in the field of data storage, but until now, accessing information from them was very inefficient.
Now, the Racetrack Memory Project has published a paper in the popular journal – Science – claiming they can precisely control the arrangement of magnetic domains in their racetrack system, where electrical pulses sent along the nanowires can halt rapid moving domains in a billionth of a second, exactly where required.
Speaking about the development, Dr. Stuart Parkin of the team commented: “We discovered that domain walls don’t hit peak acceleration as soon as the current is turned on, and that it takes them exactly the same time and distance to hit peak acceleration as it does to decelerate and eventually come to a stop. This was previously undiscovered in part because it was not clear whether the domain walls actually had mass, and how the effects of acceleration and deceleration could exactly compensate one another. Now we know domain walls can be positioned precisely along the racetracks simply by varying the length of the current pulses even though the walls have mass.”