IBM develops racetrack memory

Janet Harris

April 11, 2008

IBM develops racetrack memory

IBM is working on a memory technology which could replace solid-state and conventional hard drives.

Racetrack memory is based on nanotechnology called spintronics which is being developed by IBM researchers at the company’s Almaden Laboratory.

Racetrack memory uses tiny magnetic boundaries, known as domain walls, to store data.

The domain walls are read by exploiting the weak magnetic fields generated by the spin of electrons.

IBM researchers believe that it could take another eight years before the technology is ready for commercial use.

However they believe that it has the potential not only to replace existing storage methods, but to be faster and more reliable than current memory technologies.

It could also have up to 100 times the capacity of existing hard drive technology, without increasing heat or affecting form factors.

An MP3 player with racetrack memory would be able to store about half a million songs, or 3,500 films.


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