US company Freescale has unvieled a microchip which can store information like a hard drive. The chip, called magnetoresistive random-access memory (Mram), stores data by using magnetic properties rather than an electrical charge.
Unlike flash memory, which also can keep data without power, Mram has faster read and write speeds and does not degrade over time. It’s thought that they could one day be used in PCs to store an operating system, allowing computers to start up faster when switched on. One analyst told the Associated Press news agency that the chip was the most significant development in computer memory for a decade. A number of chip makers (including IBM) have been developing the technology for a decade or more, but Freescale is the first company to offer a chip with practical usage for many of today’s electronic devices.
Saied Tehrani, a spokesman for the company’s Mram programme, said Freescale already had customers for the chips, but he declined to name them. All will no doubt become clearer when these Mram-friendly devices are set for market.
Via the BBC