New tech: 'racetrack' memory by IBM

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dissonance, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3728060.ece

    and other sources/information:
    http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9915449-7.html?tag=newsmap
    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23859.wss

    Damn them telling us about shit up-to 10 years in advance.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's okay, it might be 10 years in advance, but it's already 10 years old. Research is always a generation ahead of the consumer population.

    I, for one, will take the time to prepare a proper welcome for our future robot overlords.
     
  3. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    A 3-Dimensional array of memory cells...

    What most people don't realize is that an array of memory cells is really all you need to have a fully functional computer...

    Using digital logic memory cells can act as transistors (2 adjacent cells could form an AND gate), and therefore every other type of logic gate... and therefore as the entire computer itself. Using massive arrays of memory you could accomplish in hardware what would otherwise be executed as software... except it would be done almost instantaneously. As long as you could fit the code in the memory the memory cells themselves could form a hardware implementation of that code, the reason we don't do this now is because even simple problems would take gigs of memory to do this. If that limitation was suddenly lifted then the entire concept of "computational speed" of a computer system might be reduced to two states: possible and (nearly) instantaneous or impossible (too big to composed in the memory array).

    Simply put this could be amazing and redefine what a computer is at the most basic level

    (if you, like my girlfriend, have a hard time understanding this, think of your processor core, all the circuitry on it and transistors on it, all designed for a specific purpose, and imagine what you could do if you could reconfigure those in any configuration you wanted with as many transistors as you wanted instantaneously and as frequently as you wanted... You could make purpose-specific hardware for anything you wanted to do as fast as you could write to the memory array)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2008
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Yes, It's called a field-programmable gate array. And it definitely is inefficient if it's programmed by a human, but when run through an artificial selection algorithm that tries random programs and combines the best performers, they can actually be far more efficient -- but much more sensitive to changes in voltage, temperature, EMF, anything -- than a normal CPU.

    Anyway, flat chips will stay popular for high-performance applications for the same reason humans' conscious thought all happens on the surface of the brain -- it's easy to maintain. In the case of a brain, it's all about blood flow; in a CPU, it's all about heat dissipation. A cube of silicon will always be a pain in the ass to keep cool, compared to a wafer.
     
  5. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    How do you even know heat is an issue with this new technology?... this uses the spin of electrons in an atom to store data, you can't tell me you can even predict the amount of heat something like that would generate

    An existing FPGA would look primitive compared to something using this
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I know heat is still an issue because it still runs on electricity and it still isn't a superconductor, regardless of the mechanism that stores the 1's and 0's, or in your example, regardless of the mechanism that processes calculations. Electricity + Resistance = Heat.
     
  7. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    and the article said it will use a fraction of the power of current memory technologies

    "devices which use the new technology would require much less power, would run on a single battery charge for "weeks at a time"
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's awesome. But that's in reference to its usage as a memory device. You were talking about its usage as a processing device, which will engage a much larger percentage of the circuits at once, thus using more current, thus producing more heat.

    There's also the matter of size. It can use a thousandth of the electricity that a current memory circuit uses, but if it is a million times smaller, it will be a thousand times harder to cool.
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    this is a decade off.... so don't get too excited, yet.

    I wish we would put more support into space exploration. In the past, this has given us great strides in every other category of engineering, science, and technology...
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    :noes:
     
  11. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I remember seeing a list, maybe 15 years ago, of all the tech that has come from the space program.

    At the time it looked like just about every technology under the sun had been effected by the program.
     
  12. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    no single task has ever improved our lives and our understanding of ourselves and our place more than putting a man on the moon.
     
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Not to mention space exploration is mad cool.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Tell that to the jackoffs who say it was filmed in a studio.

    Seriously, nothing worth having was ever easy, and few things have ever been harder to do than putting a human in a place where no human was designed to go.

    By the way, one of my friends says that going to Mars is impossible because as soon as you leave Earth's magnetosphere, the radiation will tear your DNA to pieces. But isn't the Moon outside Earth's magnetosphere? And didn't they land in spots that had bright sunlight?
     
  15. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not only because they are easy, but because they are hard.

    John F. Kennedy
    Rice University
    Houston, Texas
    September 12 1962

    He is probably referring to the Van Allen Radiation Belts. There are two of them (inner and outer). The moon is outside both of them (traveling to the moon required travel through both belts.

    There are dangers from passing through it... Specifically with certain particles passing through the craft and your body... But these particles are rare and they time the flights to minimize the risk. Traveling through the belts is safer than orbiting at a high altitude because traveling through them takes only about 40 minutes iirc, so exposure is minimal. However, high-altitude orbits, as experienced by one particular Shuttle crew can lead to prolonged exposure with effects we don't totally understand.

    As for sunlight, the craft had a heatshield. During flight the craft was given a slow roll to spread the heat along the entire heat shield. On the moon, the astronauts were protected by their "A7L" spacesuites during EVA. The A7L had a liquid-cooling system to keep astronauts temps under control... It's actually a difficult task because you have no atmosphere to allow heat to dissipate. While in the LEM they were protected by the shields (mylar and kapton alternating layers with an outer layer of nickel foil) which did an excellent job of repelling the radiant heat in the vacuum of space.
     

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