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Data Storage Technology

New Speed Record For Magnetic Memory 26

Iddo Genuth writes "An experiment performed at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany has uncovered that a spin-torque switching of a nanomagnet is as fast as what is permitted according to the fundamental laws of physics' limit. This method of switching, also named ballistic switching, could allow for increased speeds in future non-volatile magnetic memories."
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New Speed Record For Magnetic Memory

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  • Oh, FFS. (Score:3, Funny)

    by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @12:07AM (#25115549) Homepage
    Just when we were hoping for faster SSD's.

    Next you'll be telling us that new improvements in tape mean non-sequential access, and RW speeds 5x faster than current NAND.

    Call me when punch cards support DRM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      TFA says that this is MRAM [wikipedia.org] which is basically like DDR/SDRAM except that it uses magnatism rather than capacitors/NAND latches to store the data.

      This means nonvolatile RAM (Passwords/private key offline scraping FTW) or it could actually be used in SSDs if it is significantly faster/cheaper than flash chips.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by adrianwn ( 1262452 )
        Actually, it's more like a replacement for the "DRAM"-part in "(DDR-)SDRAM": "DRAM" describes the underlying memory technology, while "synchronous" describes the interface method (the results are returned on the edges of the clock signal). So the product will probably be called "SMRAM" or "DDR-SMRAM".
    • by RichiH ( 749257 )
      *ring* *ring*
  • But I can't help but wonder how much of a difference will make for most of us.

    • Re:Neat... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fourier404 ( 1129107 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @12:25AM (#25115703)
      That's what they said about transistors.
      • Insightful.
        This could be interesting... or not. It depends on application.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flnca ( 1022891 )
        Indeed, that's what they said about transistors. Even in the early 80ies, we learnt in school that tubes were the non plus ultra and that transistors had an uncertain future!! A few years later, tube production was stopped everywhere.
        • by krog ( 25663 )

          Early 80's? Where'd you go to school, Tomsk?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by kesuki ( 321456 )

            the music industry was still highly reliant upon tubes to this date, there are still suppliers of tubes for use in the music industry, even though CDs are all digital. some artists insist that the use of tubes changes the way audio sounds before it's sampled by the digitizer... and of course, there are those who still release music on vinyl.

  • How fast is "as fast as permitted according to the fundamental laws of physics' limit"?
    • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @01:27AM (#25116149)
      RTFA :)

      By using the ballistic spin torque reversal, potential MRAMs could be programmed by current pulses quicker than 1 nanosecond and subsequently, achieving write clock rates well above 1 GHz. Thus, high-density and non-volatile memory executing at the clock rates of the fastest volatile memories were enabled.

      • Welcome back, core memory, it's been a long time!

      • Tunneling through the press releases, we find:

        Quasi-ballistic spin torque magnetization reversal S. Serrano-Guisan, K. Rott, G. Reiss, J. Langer, B. Ocker, and H. W. Schumacher Physical Review Letters 33 (2008)

        Then a trip to scholar finds:

        http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.4840 [arxiv.org]

        Biased quasi ballistic spin torque magnetization reversal S. Serrano-Guisan, K. Rott, G. Reiss, J. Langer, B. Ocker and H. W. Schumacher

    • Apparently it's half of one precession time....
  • And I thought it was dead dead dead.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?