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Friday, April 11, 2008

Racetrack Memory

The prospect of iPods that can hold millions of songs and PCs being able to turn on instantly, rather than taking minutes to "boot up", comes much closer today.

A Californian team has developed a new generation of memory that combines the high performance and reliability of solid state "flash" memory, stored in microchips, with the high capacity of the PC's hard disk drive, which is cheap but contains moving parts and is slow.

In two papers in the journal Science, Dr Stuart Parkin and colleagues at the IBM Almaden Research Centre in San Jose describe a revolutionary technology dubbed "racetrack" memory, or RM memory.

The team believes that it marks a milestone that 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.

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