IBM uses "spintronics" to make memory leap

Other News Materials 12 April 2008 04:29 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - IBM announced a new kind of computer memory on Friday that could increase storage capacity 100-fold.

Called "racetrack memory" the new storage devices would replace flash memory and hard disk drives in computers. The devices are based on a new branch of physics called "spintronics" that uses nanotechnology to manipulate the spin of electrons to create magnetic fields in which data can be stored.

Using racetrack memory an MP3 player would be able to store about half a million songs, or 3,500 films. IBM has already demonstrated a device that can store 10 times the current amount and expects racetrack memory to begin cropping up in electronic devices within the next decade.

According to an IBM statement, the technology would cost far less to produce than today's models, and would run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time.

"The promise of racetrack memory - for example, the ability to carry massive amounts of information in your pocket - could unleash creativity leading to devices and applications that nobody has imagined yet," said Stuart Parkin, who leads IBM's research team at its research centre in San Jose, California.