IBM edges closer to new memory type

After six years work, Big Blue scientists claim they are closer to developing a new type of memory dubbed “Racetrack”.

Currently Racetrack is just a theoretical concept. But it is a concept which has required some breakthroughs in physics and everyone knows that “ye canne change the laws of physics”.

Now the boffins have dotted the i and crossed the t on the paperwork and they are confident that they can use them to develop and manufacture this new type of memory.

If they are right, then Racetrack memory will be able to store as much as 100 more times data on their portable gadgets, perhaps keeping as many as 500,000 songs or 3,500 blockbusters on one mobile device.

According to Science Magazine, which we got for its Bumper Christmas colour supplement on isotopes, Racetrack needs less power and a single battery charge could power a device for weeks rather than days or hours.

Unlike conventional memory, which needs to seek out the data it needs, Racetrack automatically moves the data to where it can be used. This speeds up data access and allows much information to be stored in a smaller space.

The scientists coined the name racetrack because it moves the magnetic bits of data along thin, nanowire “racetracks,” 1,000 times finer than a strand of fine hair.

Data is stored in magnetic regions known as domains and by using the spin of individual electrons, Racetrack memory can move these domains at hundreds of miles per hour and stop them at atomically precise spots along the nanowire.