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Data Storage Hardware

IBM Creates Working "Racetrack Memory" 99

Posted by kdawson
from the and-they're-off dept.
holy_calamity writes "IBM has created the first working 'racetrack memory' device — a technology we've discussed as it's been touted as the future of memory. It works by writing bits using the magnetic domains inside a very thin wire. Those domain can be shunted along this 'racetrack' and past read heads."
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IBM Creates Working "Racetrack Memory"

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  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:1, Informative)

    by synesis (786756) on Friday April 11, 2008 @10:16AM (#23035934)
    Or a mercury delay line storage.
  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey! (33014) on Friday April 11, 2008 @11:06AM (#23036636) Homepage Journal
    Ah, you beat me to it. The mercury delay lines were readily available because they had been developed for radar systems in WW2.

    CRT based memory was also, in a sense, a product of radar. If you've seen early radar depictions from old movies, you had this kind of linear cursor started at the center of a round CRT tube and went to the edge. The end swept around the perimeter of the display, and when a line crossed a "blip", it would be refreshed. Over the next couple of seconds the blip would fade and the sweeping line would refresh the blip in a slightly different place. The persistence of phosphors on the screen were a kind of short term memory, so it's not surprising that engineers familiar with radar hit on the idea of making CRT storage units.

    Random access is not the only memory model ever used in computers, nor is it the only one that will ever be used in the future. This is one of the reasons CS students are taught to regard polynomial time differences between classes of algorithms as relatively unimportant in a theoretical sense, although they are obviously important in a practical sense.
  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrSkwid (118965) on Friday April 11, 2008 @11:24AM (#23036862) Homepage Journal
    Packard Bell did machines with mercury delays & CRT storage in the 1960s

    http://research.swtch.com/2008/04/computing-history-at-bell-labs.html [swtch.com]

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