Memory Chip Starts Computers Instantly

By Agence France-Presse U.S. computing giant IBM and its German partner Infineon Technologies recently announced they have jointly developed an advanced chip that may eventually allow computers to be turned on and off like a light switch. The most advanced magnetic random access memory (MRAM) technology to date was developed by integrating magnetic memory components into a high-performance logic base, the firms said in a statement. MRAM can store more data, work faster and use less power than conventional memory chips, the statement said, adding the technology "could significantly improve portable computing products." MRAM benefits from the high storage capacity and low-cost of dynamic RAM (DRAM) and the high speed of static RAM (SRAM) and the non-volatility of flash memory, the firms added. "Since MRAM retains information when power is turned off, products like personal computers using it could start up instantly, without waiting for software to boot up," the statement said. Additionally, "MRAM has the potential to become the universal memory technology of the future," said T.C. Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Research. The development could accelerate the commercialization of MRAM, which may begin replacing some of today's memory technologies as early as 2005, the statement said. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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