What is spin-transfer torque memory technology and what is it designed to address that current flash memory chips...
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Spin-transfer torque memory technology leverages a concept that electrons or other particles have a "known" property of angular momentum referred to as "spin," which is one of two types of quantum mechanics angular momentum. The other type of spin is called orbital angular momentum.
Spin-transfer torque memory technology utilizes electric current through a magnetic field to change the electron spin to an up or down state. Spin-transfer torque memory technology is also known as STT-RAM. STT-RAM has the potential to be a higher-density, lower-cost, lower-power non-volatile storage option than flash. STT-RAM also is not a destructive technology like flash and does not have flash's wear-life issues.
But, like many of the developing non-volatile storage technologies such as phase change memory (PCM), Racetrack, memristor, MRAM, MeRAM, and others, it is not yet ready for prime time. STT-RAM currently requires a bit too much electrical current to re-orient the spin. That's changing rapidly, but it is not a commercially available technology at this time.
Martin: Future nonvolatile memory technologies
In this segment of his Storage Decisions presentation, Dennis Martin of Demartek discusses future nonvolatile memory technologies.
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Phase-change memory (PCM) is an emerging type of non-volatile random access memory. Haris Pozidis of IBM discusses PCM in this Q&A.
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Leah Schoeb, senior partner with Evaluator Group, discusses whether memristor technology might be a successor to NAND flash in this Expert Answer.
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IBM promises 1,250 times the storage density at the same cost per gigabyte as disk with its racetrack memory. But difficult choices lie ahead for IBM if it works.
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