IBM's 'racetrack' technology could increase iPhone storage tenfold

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A new form of digital storage technology under development at IBM could deliver more than tenfold increases in both the storage capacity and battery life of handheld gadgets like Apple's iPod and iPhone, according to the company's claims.



A paper published in the current issue of Science and covered by the United Kingdom's Times Online describes the technology along the lines of NAND flash memory, only faster and with considerably longer expected lifespan.



Dubbed 'racetrack' memory, it's said to store information inside the walls that exist between magnetic domains, such as those arranged on the surface of a silicon wafer. Thus, information moves around the columns at extremely high speeds compared to traditional storage mediums -- hence the racetrack name.



Scientists at IBM say the technology could pave the way for devices such as digital media players that can hold about a half million songs, cost far less to produce than today's models, and run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time.



"The promise of racetrack memory - for example, the ability to carry massive amounts of information in your pocket - could unleash creativity leading to devices and applications that nobody has imagined yet," said Stuart Parkin, who leads the team of research for IBM out at the company's research centre in San Jose, Calif.



He added that racetrack memory could lead to the development of "'three-dimensional micro-electronics', breaking with the tradition of scientists trying to fit an ever greater number on transistors on an ultra-thin piece of silicon shaped like a wafer."



Although still exploratory in its current form, IBM expects racetrack memory to begin cropping up in electronic devices within the next ten years.

«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    This is cool news, I guess well have wikipesia in our pocket soon! (as if we don't already!)
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new form of digital storage technology under development at IBM could deliver more than tenfold increases in both the storage capacity and battery life of handheld gadgets like Apple's iPod and iPhone, according to the company's claims.



    A paper published in the current issue of Science and covered by the United Kingdom's Times Online describes the technology along the lines of NAND flash memory, only faster and with considerably longer expected lifespan.



    Dubbed 'racetrack' memory, it's said to store information inside the walls that exist between magnetic domains, such as those arranged on the surface of a silicon wafer. Thus, information moves around the columns at extremely high speeds compared to traditional storage mediums -- hence the racetrack name.



    Scientists at IBM say the technology could pave the way for devices such as digital media players that can hold about a half million songs, cost far less to produce than today's models, and run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time.



    "The promise of racetrack memory - for example, the ability to carry massive amounts of information in your pocket - could unleash creativity leading to devices and applications that nobody has imagined yet," said Stuart Parkin, who leads the team of research for IBM out at the company's research centre in San Jose, Calif.



    He added that racetrack memory could lead to the development of "'three-dimensional micro-electronics', breaking with the tradition of scientists trying to fit an ever greater number on transistors on an ultra-thin piece of silicon shaped like a wafer."



    Although still exploratory in its current form, IBM expects racetrack memory to begin cropping up in electronic devices within the next ten years.





  • Reply 2 of 46
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    Excellent!
  • Reply 3 of 46
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Although still exploratory in its current form, IBM expects racetrack memory to begin cropping up in electronic devices within the next ten years.





    I was on the edge of my seat until I read the last bit.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    boss1boss1 Posts: 40member
    OR, Apple could dump a ton of it's cash reserves to speed up the development of this technology claiming exclusive, somewhat exclusive or non exclusive... rights from IBM to it's use.



    Put the new drives in the 3rd gen iPhone (post 3G) , release it in June 2009 , effectively and severely crippling, and practically wiping every cell manufacture from existence in a single year..........all but Nokia because there will always be a market for junk
  • Reply 5 of 46
  • Reply 6 of 46
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boss1 View Post


    OR, Apple could dump a ton of it's cash reserves to speed up the development of this technology claiming exclusive, somewhat exclusive or non exclusive... rights from IBM to it's use.



    That wouldn't be very smart. Who knows what other advances in memory storage will crop up in the next few years?
  • Reply 7 of 46
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,762member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    10 years





    I remember when the concept of storing a catalogue of songs on a memory chip was something that would be possible in a decade or two... Now there are kids running around who can't conceive of a world without iPods.



    10 years might seem like a long time...but then you turn around and there it is.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    10 years might seem like a long time...but then you turn around and there it is.



    Yeap! and as the 10's of years roll by it seems to get quicker and quicker each time...
  • Reply 9 of 46
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boss1 View Post


    OR, Apple could dump a ton of it's cash reserves to speed up the development of this technology claiming exclusive, somewhat exclusive or non exclusive... rights from IBM to it's use.



    Put the new drives in the 3rd gen iPhone (post 3G) , release it in June 2009



    I'm not sure if even an infinite amount of money is going to make it happen that quickly. If a new fab or new equipment needs to be made to mass produce this type of circuit, that blows the timeline right there.



    It doesn't even sound like they've actually fabbed a single sample of a functioning chip yet, it's a concept under research.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    eduardoeduardo Posts: 181member
    Woohoo! Apple and IBM together again!!!





    ...in ten years time.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boss1 View Post


    .........all but Nokia because there will always be a market for junk



    If you are referring to the lower end phones that you get for cheap when signing a contract with a service provider, I might agree with you.



    I have traveled worldwide with their E-Series phones and they are the best I've ever used - including the iPhone.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post


    This is cool news, I guess well have wikipesia in our pocket soon! (as if we don't already!)



    You don't need to quote the entire article to say that.



    By the way, I think it's possible. Maybe the Wikipedia database is about 20GB in total, the data isn't up to date.



    http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesDatabaseSize.htm
  • Reply 13 of 46
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 444member
    Awesome! Sounds like cool technology.. They could shorten the name to an acronym like RTM for speed's sake, but I'm guessing just before it's released Intel will come up with HDRTM (High Density Racetrack Memory) and the format wars will begin, ending in a cataclysmic battle between the Oprahlites and the Stevians which will eventually spiral out of control and destroy middle-earth...

    Hey it's 10 years from now, if you can come up with a better prediction I'd like to hear it!



    Jimzip
  • Reply 14 of 46
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Here you go:



    Racetrack memory

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racetrack_memory
  • Reply 15 of 46
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Although still exploratory in its current form, IBM expects racetrack memory to begin cropping up in electronic devices within the next ten years.



    10 years? This is unlikely to see the market. It's only a research project at this point. Mention it to us again when it's 18 months out.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new form of digital storage technology under development at IBM could deliver more than tenfold increases in both the storage capacity and battery life of handheld gadgets like Apple's iPod and iPhone, according to the company's claims.



    Scientists at IBM say the technology could pave the way for devices such as digital media players that can hold about a half million songs, cost far less to produce than today's models, and run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time.





    The iPhone wasn't all it could be without 3G. I say the iPhone isn't all it could be without tenfold increase in storage and run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time. Hmmmpppfff. Some can wait for the 3G iPhone, but I'm waiting for the "Racetrack" iPhone! And waiting, and waiting...
  • Reply 17 of 46
    dazabritdazabrit Posts: 273member
    Please DO NOT start with the iPhone Racetrack Next Tuesday posts!!!! That's a hell of a lot of Tuesdays to endure
  • Reply 18 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton View Post


    10 years? This is unlikely to see the market. It's only a research project at this point. Mention it to us again when it's 18 months out.



    I was about to mention this timeline, which would have lead right into my laughter about the spin on this story. IBM has no connection with iPhone, making this the silliest headline of the day.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    gmon750gmon750 Posts: 39member
    Great!

    Give the whiners something else to add to their list of things the iPhone has to have before they would even consider EVER purchasing an iPhone:



    10g

    7.3TB racetrack memory

    Neural "Handsfree" Interface

    Will play Crysis at 170fps

    Makes coffee in the morning

    Might let them get lucky with a human female...

    ...

    Oh... and it has to be available in Canada..
  • Reply 20 of 46
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    IBM out at the company's research centre in San Jose, Calif.]



    Haha. I just rode my mountain bike by there today at lunchtime. I didn't see anything going on from the outside that would indicate that miraculous things are happening in this standard looking office complex nestled in the hills south of San Jose.



    (I'm just carping on people who visit Silicon Valley--especially the Apple campus--and expect to see dollar bills floating in the air, engineers jumping from branch to branch in trees, rainbows sprouting from office doors, VCs running around in BMWs handing out cash at the Jack in the Box drive-thrus.)



    Invariably, they return home and report to their friends that "Silicon Valley sucks, it's just a bunch of buildings." Honestly, what does one expect?



    Go ahead: Chime in with your response of what you would expect to see in a place dubbed Silicon Valley.
Sign In or Register to comment.