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IBM Moves Closer to New Class of Memory

MADE IN IBM LABS: Computer memory that combines the high performance and reliability of flash with the low cost and high capacity of the hard disk drive could be closer than you think, thanks to a team of IBM scientists.

In two papers published recently in the journal Science, IBM Fellow Stuart Parkin and colleagues at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose describe both the fundamentals of a technology dubbed “racetrack” as well as a milestone in that technology. This milestone could lead to electronic devices capable of storing far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today, with lightning-fast boot times, far lower cost and unprecedented stability and durability.

Within the next ten years, racetrack memory, so named because the data “races” around the wire “track,” could lead to solid state electronic devices — with no moving parts, and therefore more durable — capable of holding far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today. For example, this technology could enable a handheld device such as an mp3 player to store around 500,000 songs or around 3,500 movies — 100 times more than is possible today — with far lower cost and power consumption. The devices would not only store vastly more information in the same space, but also require much less power and generate much less heat, and be practically unbreakable: the result, massive amounts of personal storage that could run on a single battery for weeks at a time and last for decades.

The commercial availability of racetrack stands to take microelectronics into the third dimension, exceeding the two-dimensional limits of Moore’s Law. And IBM is no stranger to creating entirely new markets that spring from exploratory research such as this. Just a few of the many game-changers invented at IBM Research include the memory chip, the hard disk drive and the relational database.

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Filed Under: Nanotechnology


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  1. smglemo says:

    I fixed all errors …
    I fixed all errors on my computer and dramatically increased my pc speed using program from make-pc-faster(.)info

    I don’t know, the Wonderwall cover was a bit shabby. Hip-hop could have had a much better Glastonbury induction than this.

  2. Doublethink20 says:

    First of all i must …
    First of all i must say i am very impressed with engenuety of this design, and look forward to seeing if the nanowires will be able to be made verticaly.

    Although i must say that Dr Stuart Parkin (and if its you reading this im sorry) during your lecture on this you had a ratio of aprox. 58:1 time of moving your glass of water to taking a sip, which as we all know is extreamly ineficent

  3. Dirtfire says:

    It’ll still be much …
    It’ll still be much slower than conventional memory, however.

  4. Dirtfire says:

    If it’s faster, far …
    If it’s faster, far more reliable, and uses less power, then it’ll be quite useful.

  5. Kg277 says:

    bubble memory all …
    bubble memory all over again..

  6. ultort says:

    It’s lenovo now
    It’s lenovo now

  7. devonrose742 says:

    IBM produces …
    IBM produces workstations, servers, mice, keyboards, (certain monitors), and computers.

  8. foreverseethe says:

    I thought UBM …
    I thought UBM doesn’t do consumer harwarware anymore? Except (vid game chips). Thinkpad was the last leg in the harware business before it sold it off.

  9. shred5 says:

    lol not close
    lol not close

  10. humantestdummy says:

    crysis :)
    crysis :)

  11. devonrose742 says:

    IBM= ingenius BEST …
    IBM= ingenius BEST machines

    nothing beats IBM equipment. (no, not even crappy lenovo, I hate lenovo, if lou gerstner was still the CEO of IBM, they would still have the thinkpads – guaranteed. Thanks for NOTHING SAMUEL PALMISANO).

  12. devonrose742 says:

    IBM did not die, I …
    IBM did not die, I use all IBM equipment, my desktop, laptop, keyboards, mice, they are ALL 100% PURE IBM.

    My intellistation though is having some issues, IBM is being painfully tardy in replying.

  13. AMVdude21183 says:

    what does that have …
    what does that have to do with racetrack memory?

  14. shred5 says:

    Alternative and …
    Alternative and probably superior solutions have been done for years now, problem is we just don’t have the speed yet for it to be of any use for us.

  15. FancyFeast3 says:

    Reminding you that …
    Reminding you that imagination is no match for the posibilities nano wires can give us.

  16. FancyFeast3 says:

    IBM= Imortal …
    IBM= Imortal Buisness Masters.

  17. fengyunsilly says:


  18. thedude77777 says:

    I thought IBM died …
    I thought IBM died 0.o
    u learn new thing each day

  19. milesforwin says:

    Maybe hard drive …
    Maybe hard drive speed will catch up with the rest of the computer system now.

  20. dealerovski82 says:

    I have a pet in my …
    I have a pet in my house *smile*

  21. brumaleon says:


  22. AthosR0 says:

    You too, you just …
    You too, you just don’t know it yet. ;P

  23. niuza001 says:

    IBM says,10 years …
    IBM says,10 years to replace the old type

  24. tutubei says:

    it looks great but, …
    it looks great but, can we have it at home before next century?

  25. MDude1350 says:

    Not only is this a …
    Not only is this a very, very promising technology being demonstrated, but that is some great video production right there.

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