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99 comments

Sounds like... (5, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035540)

... bubble memory. Welcome to 1968.

Re:Sounds like... (1, Insightful)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035598)

Or a wire recorder...welcome to 1938.

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

synesis (786756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035934)

Or a mercury delay line storage.

Re:Sounds like... (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036636)

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... (0, Redundant)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23038408)

Ah, no. Mercury delay line storage actually used acoustic waves in a tube of mercury to store pulses, which were regenerated by amplifiers and sent back into the tube by the actuator. This thing with the loop of wire and the magnetic bits moving while the wire stays still sounds much more like the idea of magnetic bubbles in bubble memory.

Re:Sounds like... (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036232)

I was wondering if anyone else noticed that. The more things change...

Re:Sounds like... (1)

Windows Breaker G4 (939734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036280)

Kinda like the diesel engine running on vegetable oil and the electric car coming back?

Re:Sounds like... (1)

meatmanek (1062562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036580)

Actually, sounds more like Twistor [wikipedia.org] memory.

1964: Outer Limits - Demon with a Glass Hand (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036610)

Demon with a Glass Hand [wikipedia.org] by Harlan Ellison tells the story of a man who can only remember the past ten days struggling to determine who he is, why he has a glass hand with missing fingers, and why an alien race is trying to kill him.

In the denouement a very important copper wire with very high density storage is central.

44 year old spoilers at the link.

Re:Sounds like... (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037568)

I swear slashdot has the funniest sigs...

Re:Sounds like... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23039236)

Can disco be far behind?

Re:Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23043312)

Can disco be far behind?
We can only hope...

wire spool recordings (1)

Tungbo (183321) | more than 6 years ago | (#23039346)

perfect for passing information inside POW camps.

"I see Nuthin... I know Nuthin...."

Bubble memory (2, Insightful)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035588)

I can't be the first one to read this and think, eh, isn't this just bubble memory?

Re:Bubble memory (1)

Raineer (1002750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036016)

So fill me in on the details, did this work back then? If it's already in existence and supposedly better, why is no one making it? Or is it just not better? Honest questions, I have no idea and don't always trust wiki 'opinions' :) Thanks

Re:Bubble memory (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036418)

I have no idea and don't always trust wiki 'opinions'

But you trust ours?!

Re:Bubble memory (1)

Raineer (1002750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036634)

Touche' Hit me with some logic and see how it goes :) lol

Re:Bubble memory (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037532)

Hit me with some logic
DL, RTL, DTL, or TTL?

Re:Bubble memory (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036474)

Original HP pocket calculators used bubble memory. Yes, I am that old...

Re:Bubble memory (1)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037644)

Original HP pocket calculators used bubble memory.
Which model? MoHPC [hpmuseum.org] says there was a non-production prototype series called Roadrunner that was to use bubble memory but makes no mention of it in any production device.

Re:Bubble memory (1)

IAN (30) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046434)

Original HP pocket calculators used bubble memory.

Um, no. The HP 9100A used core memory (both parts of ROM and all of RAM), but that was a honking big desktop machine. All pocket calculators used PMOS RAM until the appearance of "continuous memory" (CMOS) models.

Re:Bubble memory (2, Interesting)

kevmatic (1133523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037216)

Well, it worked, alright. But it took forever for the information to get around the loop, leading to large seek times, and they couldn't push it over a mbit a chip. I'm thinking they used actual wire while IBM is probably lithographically defining it like a CPU transistor. And yes, they used it. If you look closely at any CNC machine shop that's been around for a while, you'll probably find one or two machines from the era with bubble memory, still whirring away. CNC machines, for many many years, had to keep pushing the limits of computer technology to keep up with their motors and sensing systems.

Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035610)

If you had an infinite-length track, you could theoretically encode data which could itself be interpreted as processor instructions. Then, given these instructions, you could move back and forth within this track and read data and further instructions. With a fairly minimum number of instructions, it would be possible to synthesize more complex instruction batches.

This sounds like such a great idea. I wish I had it already!

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (2, Funny)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035662)

If I had an infinite length track, I'd sell it for infinite money.

Turing Machine! (1, Offtopic)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035680)

Turing Machine! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Turing Machine! (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036100)

Lego Turing Machine [umontreal.ca]

Lego Difference Engine [woz.org] :D

Re:Turing Machine! (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036492)

Revoke my geek card if you must, but on being chalenged to make a lego computer, I'd just use an RCX. ;) Yea, I'm lazy and have no sense of wonder.

Re:Turing Machine! (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036776)

Well, as a practical matter you probably wouldn't make linear memory with a single read head that was billions of bits long. Nor would you be likely to treat it as such in your programs, although you might have clever adjustments to your algorithms that take its overall performance characteristics into account, the way that people take the performance characteristics of hard disks as a kind of unspoken assumption.

For that matter, modern random access memory is really more of an abstraction than a reality. Programmers usually don't worry about things like memory pages except in a kind of statistical way. The address you want may be in cache, or it may be in DRAM or it may be in the paging file.

Most programmers have been living with an abstraction for a very long time, which is that there are two kinds of memory: fast, volatile random access memory and slow, persistent "external" memory. This seems like it is a fundamental difference, but it is really quite arbitrary. You could treat a robotic tape library as a massive, but slow random access persistent memory, if that suited your purposes. Different aspects of flash memory straddle different parts of the divide between working memory and persistent storage.

I'd say the single thing most likely to really change over the next twenty years is this neat two way division of memory, especially as mobile and embedded devices become more common.

Re:Turing Machine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23039364)

Might have clever adjustments to your algorithms... Oh you mean like drum memory?

Fun story about a real programmer, involving drum memory.
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/mel.html

Re:Turing Machine! (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23039822)

I'd say the single thing most likely to really change over the next twenty years is this neat two way division of memory, especially as mobile and embedded devices become more common.
Oh, please no. I already lost an mp3 player because of that. Memory got corrupted, the whole thing froze, and it's persistent across battery changes. Even the firmware updates were software only.

Of course, I previously voided the warranty as I did a firmware update (the updated version had no arbitrary volume limit imposed on it, and also it enabled the built-in radio).

From that day on I only buy things I can reboot.

Re:Turing Machine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036868)

What crackhead mod modded this offtopic? You idiot. The parent was answer the question the gp begged. Need more explanation? The machine the gp is describing is a Turing machine. Christ. It's like we've got SAT essay scorers for mods. Don't even consider content, just length and if at a glance it seems to be on topic.

Re:Turing Machine! (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037070)

I find it extra amusing that Turing machine is offtopic, but Lego Turing machine is informative.

Re:Turing Machine! (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046068)

It is quite obvious what the gp was hinting at, so answering "Turing Machine!" is firmly in the whoosh, missed the point, Mr. Obvious, no really?, duh, fail category.

"Lego Turing Machine" is fun/informative.

Re:Turing Machine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23037696)

It's like we've got SAT essay scorers for mods.

Adapting a joke I heard today....

What did the moderators get on their SATs?

BBQ Sauce

Thanks. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Re:Turing Machine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23037470)

So explaining a joke is modded off-topic? Also, I'm quite surprised that there are people on Slashdot who don't understand what a Turing Machine is.

Re:Turing Machine! (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046086)

Explaining an obvious joke should really be modded redundant.

You mean DNA? (1)

EgoWumpus (638704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036234)

I assume that is what you were getting at; after all that is pretty much how DNA works, only without needing an infinite track.

Re:You mean DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036308)

No he means a Turing Machine. YUO FAIL IT.

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036358)

...you could move back and forth within this track and read data and further instructions.


If you play instructions to a CPU backwards, would the computer spout Satanic messages?

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23037724)

It would execute a satanic program; namely ... forget it. Too easy.

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (1)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037734)

I don't believe so. I've heard it decompiles Windows Vista into COBOL for your reading pleasure.

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037868)

decompiles Windows Vista into COBOL


Definitely Satanic on both ends.

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (3, Funny)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037250)

Hmm... To use a car analogy (this is Slashdot, right?): if you had a car on an infinite-length track, would it be the ultimate Touring Machine?

Cue groans...

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23040660)

*groan*

Re:Imagine an infinite-length wire "track" (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23040992)

To ring the patent office or not to ring, that is the question.

The old is new again (1, Offtopic)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035616)

So, this is basically a solid-state version of mercury delay lines?

Re:The old is new again (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035648)

Or plated wire memory.

FTFA (3, Funny)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035660)

The first ever racetrack memory device is able to store and read three bits of data using the racetrack method.

Bit 1 - Did something?
Bit 2 - ??????
Bit 3 - Profited?

this won't take off soon (1)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035690)

it will be a few years before this is practical, and even then, people won't buy it. new motherboards will have to be introduced, ultimately resulting in have to get a new pc (if you are a business). so slashdotters, i would hold off for, lets say, 7 years before getting this.

Re:this won't take off soon (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035858)

Why would it need new motherboards? Its just the internal method of data storage and retrieval. Its entirely possible that early versions of this drive could use SATA connections and just be cheaper and faster than current drives (rather than extraordinarily faster, if it needs a different kind of motherboard connection).

Re:this won't take off soon (5, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035890)

Oh! New motherboards would have to be introduced! That could take some time to switch to indeed, because it's quite rare that such a thing happens.

Except for the switch from DRAM to SDRAM. And the switch from SDRAM to DDR, and from DDR to DDR2, and from DDR2 to DDR3, and from AGP to PCI-e, and from IDE to SATA, and.. and.. ad infinitum.

Re:this won't take off soon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036468)

Your sarcasm is well targeted. I think techies forget how fast things evolve, because they fail to appreciate incremental increases.

Ten years ago we weren't using PCI Express, and AGP was extremely new.. we were mostly using PCI graphics cards! 3D support wasn't even common at the time. We were surfing the information superhighway at 33.6kbps, 20GB was considered a lot, and black and white laptops were still reasonably common!

Re:this won't take off soon (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036216)

Cause a new PC would be so expensive?

You should have stopped here:"It will be a few years before this is practical"

Re:this won't take off soon (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046140)

Cause a new PC would be so expensive?
Yeah, I'm sure buying a new motherboard will be reeeeeal expensive compared to the cost of the first sticks of Racetrack RAM you buy.

Anyway, if people bothered to RTFA (hey, one can wish) they would see that they expect racetrack memory to first be used for storage - which means you will connect the stuff through sata/pci/pci-e or other existing buses. Using Racetrack as a replacement for RAM is in the 7year+ range.

hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035700)

I wouldly like the for hourse spaghetti in turn specimenologized crimes,__?

racetrack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035750)

So Racetrack is the twelfth Cylon?

Race track, but what kind? (-1, Offtopic)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035758)

Personally, I'm hoping it's a Formula 1 Circuit. Even the name makes sense!

Re:Race track, but what kind? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036168)

I'm hoping it's a Formula 1 Circuit

Nope, more like NASCAR. Just a bunch of bits turning left for 500 ns.

I wouldn't say new or first (0, Redundant)

lcreech (1491) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035794)

Doesn't anyone remember the "bubble memory"? from the 70's and 80's and was a loop racetrack type device.

Re:I wouldn't say new or first (1)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23042278)

I caught the tail-end of the bubble memory era, even bought a few chips and played with it, but it became extinct very quickly (probably due to dynamic ram going into volume production just as the TRS/Atari/Apple/Commodore era took off.

-Matt

Need an analogy (5, Funny)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035806)

Without a proper Light -Distance analogy [slashdot.org] I have no way of being impressed by the speed of device. Is it knuckle to knee? Nose to toe? People need to know these things!

Eh.. English ? (0, Offtopic)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035854)

'Those domain can be shunted along this 'racetrack' and past read heads.'

What does that sentence even mean ?

Re:Eh.. English ? (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036068)

Hang on. Somethings coming through on the teletype: dominatrix ... shunting ... racey ... red heads!

Older than Dirt! (2, Insightful)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035860)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delay_line_memory

I think (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035954)

that there's a NASCAR joke in there somewhere.

time to recalculate the FUDged/cooked 'books' yet? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035986)

most of US would be better off to stop pretending that the fairytail has no end, & begin to deal with the facts of the matters at hand? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

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dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

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the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

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"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

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whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

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& pretending that it isn't happening here;

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

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Correct me if I'm wrong, (3, Interesting)

jockeys (753885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036020)

but hasn't this been done in the past with electrical pulses sent down a very long wire? In a loop? So long ago that registers were called accumulators?

I remember my OpSys prof showing us one of these things that was new and shiny when HE was in school. Basically just a long (couple km, I think) wire wrapped up in a small coil the size of a shoebox that acted as RAM by sending pulses around the loop, reading them and then sending them again... the delay of electrons traveling the loop acted as extra space, until you were sending pulses continuously. Sort of like a circular stack.

Anyone else see some similarities here?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong, (1)

Mike McTernan (260224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037742)

Or even sound through Mercury Delay lines [wikipedia.org] ...

That's nothin' (5, Funny)

Jupiter Jones (584946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036078)

Meh.

Wake me when they come up with "Hot Dog" or "Crashdown" memory.

JJ

Great for Microsoft Windows. (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036140)

If this gets used a lot, at least Microsoft can blame all their problems on 'race track memory things crashing'.

This is brilliant for them!

Seriously, though. The idea of storing bits on top of each other instead of alongside each other does give a much smaller footprint, and from what I understand from what I've read some 3 years ago, also a much better speed vs thermal efficiency.

For primary storage (2, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036264)

The interesting thing is that they feel it is capable of being primary storage...so we're talking Terabytes...

Could be interesting.

Re:For primary storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036830)

no- primary storage is working memory ie RAM, terabytes is currently, and for most situations for quite a while, secondary storage e.g. hard drives, tape.

Re:For primary storage (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23039734)

If they can get this to work (including withstanding billions of re-writes), we're talking a completely solid-state storage device that could store at minimum couple of terabytes in the same form factor as today's ATA-100/133 and Serial ATA drives. Imagine loading Linux--including the full graphical environment!--or even Windows in under 10 seconds! :-)

Re:For primary storage (1)

Kehvarl (812337) | more than 6 years ago | (#23040832)

An AC has already pointed this out, but "Primary Storage" in the typical computer model is what we would consider RAM. Hard Drives and other "storage" media are considered to be "Secondary Storage". Primary Storage also consists of cache, and I believe processor registers. Removable media, is often called "Offline Storage" or "Tertiary Storage"

The relevant Wiki article is: Computer Storage [wikipedia.org] ; specifically the sections: Primary Storage [wikipedia.org] , and Secondary Storage [wikipedia.org] .

The overall point I'm trying to make here is, we're talking gigabytes, and it's still very interesting.

Re:For primary storage (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23054032)

From TFA:

His calculations suggest it could provide faster, cheaper and higher capacity storage than RAM or hard disk storage.

I'll stand by my statement.



Compared to PMC? (3, Interesting)

babymac (312364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036420)

Does anyone have any idea how this compares to programmable metallization cell [wikipedia.org] technology which made the news recently? How close to production is PMC vs racetrack memory?

For some reason... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036510)

...'RaceTrack' reminds me of 'TokenRing'

Re:For some reason... (1)

Chaoticmass (213593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037182)

...'RaceTrack' reminds me of 'TokenRing'
I came here to say that.

business machines (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23036566)

first they "Ship Fastest CPU on Earth" now this. all after loosing 300K jobs and being fucked by EPA. what the hell is going on at IBM? has the The Large Hadron Collider been turned on already? should we be expecting lots of zombies on pink unicorns anytime soon? sheeeeeet.

Sequential Access (1)

GottliebPins (1113707) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036582)

So they're saying sequential access is better than dynamic access? What's the advantage in that? Oh wait, I need to access data at location $ff00, let me spin the bits around the track a few thousand times til I get to that memory location. Duh?

Re:Sequential Access (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23038438)

Oh man you hit the nail on the head buddy! What a bunch of idiots overthere! Don't they know anything? I always say, for any resarch project everyone should just post their idea to slashdot and see what comes up with the comments before they even spend a dime on it. Often you'll always find that:

a) What you're doing doesn't make any sense whatsoever based on that article I read a few years ago.
b) What you're doing was done 50 years ago and was better because that's what I did in my day.
c) What you're doing breaks most of the laws of physics I don't really understand.
d) You need to figure out step 2 before making a profit.
e) Its already been done in reverse in Russia.
f) There's a wiki link on something sort of related to that other thing that has the same letters as this.
g) Your idea has already been implemented by this site also hosting a picture of a gaping anus.

Seriously we need to just drop all peer-review and send papers this way. For science!

ah... (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036678)

I'm too young to remember bubble memory, but don't worry Google is my friend and the (ever so) helpful /.r's will correct any errors in their normal polite, restrained and helpful fashion.

From what I understand you created a circular magnetic field and then loaded a pattern into in, moving it around the field and past the read area to determine the data value. The pattern density was very high and the loops were printed onto the surface of the device, a bit like the old 80s game donkey kong they were joined into one big loop. They peaked at around 1Mbit size in the 80s, before more conventional technology was developed to replace them.

By using a very very thin wire as the loop, IBM have further increased the data density, and modern high speed electronics allows faster access time. Key to the new idea is the technology to move the data around the wire - this is the novel part of the invention.

This offers low cost, high storage volatile storage devices to maybe replace existing RAM technology.

Sounds kinda like.. (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23036838)

A miniature token ring.... That went over well for IBM...

-CF

first computer memory was a "racetrack" device (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037112)

Before they perfected magnetic storage, acoustic delay queues [wikipedia.org] in mercury were used as secondary memory.

Place your bets .. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037136)

Come on down to Racetrack Memory.

Set your data running the loop and then sit back and watch the fun.

Have drunken parties as you watch you bits speed around the course.

Place bets on your bits coming in first, a place, or if you are feeling really lucky plonk your money down for a trifecta.

Its so much fun for the whole family that even if you lose you still win!!

Timeline (3, Funny)

audubon (577473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037194)

The first ever racetrack memory device is able to store and read three bits of data using the racetrack method.
Assuming memory capacity doubles [wikipedia.org] every two years, IBM expects to have a 64 kilobyte version ready by mid 2025.

Racetrack Memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23037214)

I recall as a teenager going to the race track with the family for New Years. My parents let me place a couple of two dollar bets. I even won a bit of money from the adventure.

Now that I see that IBM is creating Race Trace Memories, I'm not sure if this is actually mine now, or inserted into my brain by some IBM affiliate.

Curse You!

No betting (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037346)

on the racetrack memory results. "Come on, NAND gate#7. Lucky #7! Daddy needs a new iPod"

Re:No betting (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23038732)

I've got some inside info on #3's mean free path...

Why? (1)

toporok (1138049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23037672)

Is it me or old is new again? I'm getting tired of seeing things we've already done and moved on being broght back as the next best thing. And why would we want to move from solid state to a something that has moving parts. What if you drop it? Will it jump the "racetrack"?!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23039030)

What moving parts? Solid state is not the opposite of moving parts, you doofus. What if you drop anything? Idiot.

Re:Why? (1)

toporok (1138049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23041034)

My bad, that's what I get for trying to multitask. Did not read the whole article and "ass-u-me-d" that wire was moving.

there are still some issues to be resolved... (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23039598)

Ars Technica picked this up yesterday [arstechnica.com] and has a pretty good run-down of how it works (complete with a pretty illustration).

They also provide Links to the Science articles themselves:

It's promising, but there are still some lingering issues:

There is still work to do before an entire three-dimensional memory chip will replace your current memory solutions. The biggest problem may be heat; moving DWs requires a high current, which may destroy the wire or mangle the data it contains. Still, there are some ideas on how to deal with the heat, and this work represents a big step in the direction of a new dimension in memory storage.

Racetrack, eh? (1)

kamikaze2112 (792393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23040646)

I dunno, but I'm not sure I want my memory making left turns all day long...

I'm a Chinese and I predicted this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23044176)

I'm a Chinese and I predicted this several years ago in a Chinese IT forum during the time when Wii is just announced and not yet named as Wii.

The forum is www.jg1998.org, a forum for talented high school programmers. I use the name of æå¦åé to predict the next generation of hard disk which also serves as RAM and have the fast speed of RAM. If you don't believe me, go ask the people at jg1998 or search the internet archive.

I think I even send a mail to a top 5 tech company in China using mathchicken@yahoo.com and persuade them to do research in this area (hard disk that use RAM technology, a hard disk that can serve as RAM).

No Chinese took interest in my ideas and took action despite me giving my ideas for free. Now it's America being the first again, being the innovator again, and being the leader again.

Prior Art (1)

Jaazaniah (894694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23067204)

There are magnetized wires out there with analog sound recordings on them from the days before vinyl. This is nothing new, and without a better control and recall system, is highly inefficient. Now, if the patent deals with the control system, kudos to IBM. If it deals with just the idea of selectively magnetizing a wire set, this has already been done. Google wire recording if you want more info.
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