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Forget 500,000 songs - I'll use it for backup

© April 2008 Anthony Lawrence

It's been all over the blogosphere and even on the nightly news: "500,000 songs on your iPod!". Of course it's nonsense: the technology referred to is still years away, and as it is likely to appear in expensive forms long before Apple could adopt it for mass consumer use, the first products will probably be Enterprise storage devices and not iPods.

By the way, this isn't really "news" - IBM has been working on this for several years now. All that's new is that they've built a prototype.

This is called "racetrack" memory because the storage moves around a circuit. Strangely enough, that's been a problem: moving the bits has been slow, roughly equal to hard drive speeds. That's not so horrible: a solid state, high capacity low power device that is "only" as fast as a hard drive is still a big improvement, but apparently the physics of this are still being worked on and may be able to be solved.

I think the video at Engadget shows IBM's prototype : it definitely isn't anything ready to pop in an iPod.

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-> silly reports on IBM's racetrack memory


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Thu Apr 17 13:16:45 2008: 4046   BigDumbDinosaur

"500,000 songs on your iPod!"

Who would have time to listen to a half million songs? If you listened non-stop eight hours a day, seven days a week, and each song averaged three minutes in length, it would take you nearly nine years to play all of them. Since much of what passes for "music" these days is crap, it sounds to me like a supreme waste of time. I won't even mention the time it would take to download all those MP3s and store them into the iPod.<Grin>

As far as storage speed goes, I have little doubt that problem will be solved. Solid-state technology has consistently gotten faster over time and research on improving semiconductor switching speeds keeps yielding fruit.

Thu Jun 5 14:46:00 2008: 4305   TonyLawrence

Speaking of storage: (link)

Thu Jun 5 17:31:42 2008: 4308   BigDumbDinosaur

CBRAM has a lot of potential. Switching speeds can be exceptionally high, the current required to change a bit state is a fraction of that required with flash memory, and it appears cell density can be many times that of the latter. I foresee where CBRAM could eventually display all forms of mechanical storage, effectively resulting in the demise of the hard drive as we know it. Imagine a server with terabytes of storage packed into a device that you could stick in your shirt pocket and have room left over for a pack of cancer sticks.


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