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[Guest Post] A Breakthrough in Data Storage

In technology, today’s world is very different as that of years ago. Before the invention of Flash memory in the mid 80s only simplest type of ROM was known to people. Then after Flash memory, Toshiba invented NAND flash which has higher tolerance of physical shock, extreme miniaturization, and much lower power consumption. But researchers didn’t stop there, and in early 2008 Stuart Parkin of IBM’s Almaden Research Center came up with the concept of retrievable stored memory “Racetrack Memory”. When Parkin first proposed racetrack memory, people thought it was a great idea that would never work. But researchers at IBM’s research center did it.

Racetrack Memory

Now if we want a computer with shock proof memory that is 100,000 times faster than current hard disks, Not only faster but also more efficient and consumes less power then now it could be available in 5-7 years. Researchers at the Laboratory of Nanomagnetism and Spin Dynamics have invented such kind of “Racetrack” non volatile memory, which may soon make such a device possible.


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Instead of on a moving tape, Racetrack Memory, a non volatile in nature, stores data on a tiny unmoving nickel iron nanowire. It has no moving parts, no wear-out mechanism like Flash memory therefore it can be rewritten endlessly without any wear and tear. The bits of information stored in the wire are simply pushed around inside the tape using a spin polarized current, attaining the breakneck speed of several hundred meters per second. It is equivalent of reading an entire VHS cassette in less than one second. It is cheaper as compare to other memory devices and much faster then traditional ROM, Computer with Racetrack memory can boot up instantly and would save energy.

Racetrack memory requires in a first step, replacing the USB sticks with something much faster, unlimited re-writ ability, etc then replaces all memory with Racetracks and this would greatly simplify the computer architecture but would mean that computers have to be redesigned.

Now by using Racetrack memory not only we can speed up our computer, but also can save energy of earth.

Author Awais Arshad is a Contributor to TechReaders.com

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