Spintronic memory advance: New research suggests a new route for developing high density magnetic memory chips which will not lose information when the power is switched off. For the first time data will be written and read very fast using only electrical currents.
Physicist at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Leeds have discovered a way to precisely control the pattern of magnetic fields in thin magnetic films, which can be used to store information. The key advance of the recent research has been in developing ways to use high energy beams of gallium ions to artificially control the direction of the magnetic field in regions of cobalt films just a few atoms thick. If the approach at Bath is developed commercially, this would allow the manufacture of magnetic memory chips with much higher packing densities, which can operate many times faster.