The Magnetic Race-Track Memory, a new concept in magnetic non-volatile memory disclosed by IBM Corp of the US in February 2005, is attracting a great deal of attention. If it can be commercialized as advertised it has the potential to revolutionize the memory architecture for computers and consumer electronics. The high potential performance of the new memory is the key, delivering performance on a par with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) at the manufacturing cost of hard disk drives (HDD). It supports random access, and offers an infinite number of rewrites. Because no mechanism is required, it can be expected to deliver the same robustness as semiconductor memory.
But practical application is still "five to ten years away," said Stuart SP Parkin, IBM fellow SpinApps and director of IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center at IBM.
The mean access time is about 50ns, which is a little longer than MRAM and roughly the same as existing DRAM.