Taking Memory off to the Racetrack

The future of memory is now… Or at least getting close, and it can be found at the racetrack, so to speak.

With racetrack storage the information is stored magnetically in what are being called “walls”.

Imagine something like a parabolic curve, with the vertex touching the racetrack.

When electrical current is applied to either side of the wall, the data stored on the wall moves in the direction of the current.

When the data that is stored on the wall reaches the racetrack portion of the disk (where the data is written or collected, like the needle on today’s HDD) the current stops flowing so that the data can be accessed by the system.

Instead of constantly having to search for the data and wait for the disk to come back around, the racetrack system moves the data to where it needs to be when it needs to be there. The system is able to move the data hundreds of miles an hour over distances that are just a few microns. That’s how the incredible speeds are achievable.

This project has been active since 2004. Moving the data isn’t the problem, they were having trouble stopping it in the correct spot. They now know that it takes almost as much time to slow and stop as it does to reach full speed, so they are able to get the data to where it needs to be AND stop it in the right place without constantly overshooting.

Here’s a useful Racetrack Memory Wiki for your perusal.

Source: IBM

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