IBM Enhances Nanotube Production Process for Non-Volatile Racetrack Memory

    IBM has been working on a new type of non-volatile memory for industrial use for several years. One of the promising technologies is called Racetrack Memory. Such a system works with magnetic interaction, and not with electric current.

    The principle of recording in Racetrack Memory is based on the movement of so-called magnetic domains through spin currents. At the same time, the developers were able to significantly reduce the size of magnetic domains, which made it possible to provide a much higher recording density than before. All this became possible thanks to the development of technologies in the field of spintronic magneto-resistive devices and materials.

    About a year ago, an IBM laboratory in California managed to create a working prototype of such a memory, its physical model. Specialists, using a prototype memory module, were able to create, move and detect a magnetic beam, which in such a system is a way to write a logical zero or one. It was possible to generate not one, but 250 magnetic domains, in the described prototype of the system. Now, IBM has completed work on the creation of reliable nanotubes, from which such memory modules are created. This achievement brings the stage of practical implementation of the project closer, with the possibility of producing a new type of memory modules.

    In the future, as experts hope, it is Racetrack Memory that will expand the capabilities of physical storage media, including capacity. Equal in size with a standard flash-based media, the new drive will have approximately 100 times larger capacity. At the same time, the number of rewrite cycles is theoretically infinite, in contrast to the same flash-memory.

    A separate module of track memory consists of a certain shape of a nanotube, as well as two magnetic heads that read and write information. Magnetic domains in this case serve as a means of transmitting information.

    This picture "walks" on the Web for more than 6 years, but it optimally reflects the process of the new memory

    An ordinary portable media player, in the case of the practical implementation of IBM research results, will receive a new type of storage medium up to 6-7 terabytes. According to Stuart Parkin (an interesting interview with him can be found here ), now you can create a working Racetrack Memory module, and not just a prototype, which is what IBM specialists are trying to implement. True, a lot of time should still pass before the technology is released - about 4-5 years.

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