Race track - will replace hard disk and flash soon

Discussion in 'DSL & Info Tech News' started by Unwired, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Unwired

    Unwired Member

    Soon your computer and electronic gadgets could be much smaller, faster, cheaper, more reliable and even greener thanks to a new form of computer memory technology called racetrack.

    Christopher Marrows, a physicist at England's University of Leeds, says racetrack memory, currently under development at IBM, will be a vast improvement over today's leading computer memory technology - hard disk and flash - which each have serious limitations.

    Racetrack is showing to be more reliable than hard disks, making consistent computer crashes, well, a distant memory.

    And it's cheaper than flash - perhaps 100 times less expensive.

    "This technology will allow you to have the best of both worlds - cheap nano-size with huge memory in 3G phones, MP3 players, camcorders and other devices," says Marrows. "But, more importantly, there will be more sites that will be able to give away storage for free, like YouTube.com and Gmail.com."

    Racetrack, as the name implies, is all about speed - and reliability, since all the parts are static.

    Data stored on racetrack moves around on a wire pushed by spiralling magnetics, unlike hard disks in which a motor-operated head, much like a record player, has to move to the data to read it. It's those moving parts that make hard disks, invented by IBM in 1956, susceptible to crashing.

    "Hard disks are so good because they are so cheap," says Marrows. "But they are bad because of the moving parts, which wear out or crash."

    Flash memory, created by Toshiba in 1980, has its own drawbacks. As a solid-state storage device with no moving parts, it's faster and more reliable than disks, but it has a limited number of erase-write cycles before the memory capacity begins to deteriorate.

    The impact of racetrack, which has the durability and speed of flash and the affordability of hard disk, will be enormous, says Stuart Parkin, IBM fellow and inventor of the technology.

    "Racetrack will have cheap memory with the possibility of being one million times faster than hard disks without the risk of wearing out," he says.

    There is no "seek" time - as with hard disks, which have to search for information - so computers would be able to boot up almost instantly, he suggests.

    Furthermore, the technology promises to use much less power than current memory, making it environmentally friendly.

    "The tremendous amount of storage, faster performance and reduced energy requirements, make it a nice green and smart technology," says Parkin.

    Another difference, says Marrows is that racetrack memory is designed vertically - unlike current memory - so it will take up less room on a microchip.

    "Think of it like Manhattan - building very tall skyscrapers in little areas to save space. This will make it a hundred-fold cheaper as the price of chips is dictated by the space used," Marrows said.

    The design will make racetrack the first three-dimensional memory, says Parkin, allowing it to have more bits per transistor.

    "This will allow us to take a chip and increase its (transistor) volume 10 to 100 times, breaking Moore's Law," he said.

    Moore's law is named for Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore who in 1965 observed what has proved to be an enduring trend in computer hardware. Simply put, his "law" says that the number of transistors per square inch on a circuit board will double every 18 months.

    Experts believe Moore's law will hold true for another few decades. But Parkin is hoping to prove them wrong within five to seven years, when he expects fully operational racetrack memory to be available.

    "As a technology enabler, racetrack fits within the 'universal memory' concept, where one type of the memory could be used across the full spectrum," replacing the need for multiple types of internal memory, says Zeljko Zilic, an associate professor of the department of electrical and computer engineering at Montreal's McGill University.

    "Currently, flash memory comes closest to the ideal, but the disadvantages of flash will become more and more apparent," he adds.

    IBM is not simply looking to improve on current technology - the company wants to replace it all together.

    "Racetrack has the potential to replace both hard disk and flash," said Parkin. "Our goal is to replace all flash memory as it will get rid of the concept of trading performance for cost."

    Zilic believes if Parkin is successful, it will have a major effect.

    "Interestingly, more than a quarter of the world's flash supply goes to Apple and their iPod/iPhone products, which shows how useful it is currently."

    http://digg.com/d1pCmY | © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
  2. cORnviTz

    cORnviTz Member

    iba na tlga technology ngaun, paimprove ng paimprove kaya pamura ng pamura

  3. Wow, every month may bago sa tech.
  4. stanelope

    stanelope Member

    nabalitaan nyo na rin ba ung battery na pwede mo na magamit after 10-20 seconds? napanood ko sa convergys eh meron ganun na battery developing pa daw pagtagal tagal daw pwedeng gamitin na tong battery sa pagchcharge ng mga electric car.
  5. philyoh_akoh

    philyoh_akoh Member

    bakit kaya hindi yung water powered engine ang ma develope??? dahil ba sa maraming company ang mamamatay dahil dito?
  6. alucardver

    alucardver Member

    kasi po water is everywhere, companies are seeking for "lower cost" for all their consumers but "NOT FREE AT ALL". hehehe...
  7. Unwired

    Unwired Member

    There are some people who dedicated their lives in researching and developing for Computer Technology, Space Technology, Nuclear Fusion, Material Science, Mathematics and Physics, Astronomy..etc etc..so If you say that "water thingy", the world we are living in is a stagnant.

    We have to be thankful in the since that we are getting into the age of not bytes but terabytes "I can't imagine if we are still using 1.44MB floppy drive to store a 700MB movie? Imagine you need almost 650 pieces of it compared to a thumbsize flash memory"..., soon Octal processing, Nano technology..etc etc..So it is unfair to say that because there are people who fully give their lifetime to give us the technology that will make our civilization to push through. We are a young specie so much to discover so much to learn not only for the present time but for the ages to come and generation to come. Our hunger to Power and Speed those are the reason why we have people doing the job in their respective fields of expertise.

    If you insist to develop a water powered engine we might get stack from a dream world.

    The best example to this is,Crude oil; is not the most abundant source of energy, right now it is Methane Hydrate, the only problem to that is the harvesting and purifying. Maybe someday they will able to find the solution and the technology to extract that resources just like the beginning of crude oil transition from coal and steam engine.

    For sure engineers and scientist are not working for their own specific field but a collaboration, until they have a single final output. I remember back in school where the CoE and ECE are doing the circuitry and programming while the Chemical Engineering is the one using the final product.

    So in this new technology it is not only the computer scientist who take the full credit but also the previous researchers and scientist. From material engineers to electrical engineers.

    Before the early human discover fire, learn to hunt using tools around them until the technology was improving and making the life easier...

    Home come?
    IBM will not take the sole production if ever...

    Don't you know that tosihiba invented the flash technology, bell labs for the transistors? I guess you knew it naman....

    Right now you are enjoying the fruits of those men who dedicated their lives for that piece of device. Some of them have not written in any books!!!

    "Technology evolves everytime" - face the fact!!brother

    Just my thought...don't take it personally...this is me when I am working and suddenly I read something that make my nerve shaked!!! I can't stop but to react!!!

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