Freescale's latest thing...

Discussion in 'Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion' started by jacg, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    jacg

    #1
    From the BBC:

    'Magnetic memory' chip unveiled

    The microchip business is worth $48 billion (£30 billion) a year
    A microchip which can store information like a hard drive has been unveiled by US company Freescale.
    The chip, called magnetoresistive random-access memory (Mram), maintains data by relying on magnetic properties rather than an electrical charge.

    One analyst told the Associated Press news agency that the chip was the most significant development in computer memory for a decade.

    Mram chips could find their way into many different electronic devices.

    The benefit of Mram chips is that they will hold information after power has been switched off.

    Freescale has been producing the four-megabit Mram chips at an Arizona factory for two months to build inventory.

    A number of chip makers have been pursuing the technology for a decade or more, including IBM, but Freescale is the first company to offer a chip with practical usage for many of today's electronic devices.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5164110.stm



    I wonder if Apple might be a customer for such a thing?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    emotion

    #2
    Looks like interesting technology. Better than flash memory.

    So, Jobs will have to make up with Freescale then. :)
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    #3
    Considering that 512KB isn't enough space to replace standard RAM and seeing that Apple doesn't have devices who could use such a thing (yet), I doubt that it will be soon that they will make use of it.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    emotion

    #4
    Agreed. Though if you go through thedesign process to make a solid state laptop you could have most of the OS on flash (cheap, but susceptible to 100,000 reads as a limit) and have the most read parts running on MRAM.

    Having said that I think we're a couple of years off from that yet.
     
  5. macrumors G4

    dmw007

    #5
    Cool technology. :) Although 4MB chips sounds rather tiny? :eek:


    Yes, I suppose so emotion. ;) :D
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    emotion

    #6

    4 Mb = 512KB as Veldek points out. It's early days yet though.
     
  7. macrumors G4

    dmw007

    #7
    Well, true. I suppose that in time this technology will get to the point of being more useful. :eek: :)
     
  8. macrumors G4

    #8
    If you reread the OP, Freescale is building inventory of these 512 KB mram chips. This means that they have reached the point of being useful for their intended applications. Despite the prognositications of the quoted analysts, it sounds like these chips will be used in smartcard-like applications rather than as replacements for rotating disks in general purpose computers.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    encro

    #9
  10. macrumors regular

    michaeldmartin

    #10
    Four megabit transfer rate or capacity? ;)
     
  11. macrumors G4

    #11
    Assuming that this is a serious question, the answer is capacity. This is a storage medium, not a transport medium.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    #12
    Not a memory expert, but cant mram be used for rom's as well? The way I remember it rom is slow but keeps its content, mram is faster and also keeps its content. Also 512Kb isnt that much in computer terms, but there are a lot embeded stuff that could use the speed... god knows I hate the slow startup time if my microwave.... :D :D :D
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    #13
    Well there's a big difference between RAM and ROM. ROM is read-only, the only way to modify ROM is to use a program to FLASH it. RAM is randomly accessed for memory storage.

    Now if there was a way to lock MRAM I suppose that it could be used as ROM, but there would be issues with that that they'd have to address before it could be used in that way.

    512KB, depends on the size, I haven't read the article, but if the size was relatively small compared to tracks/heads/sectors on a hard drive, it could be a good thing. But tech is always getting smaller. If MRAM could be accessed and used quicker than regular RAM and all those minor details which is too long to mention, maybe they could be used as hard drives for laptops, handhelds, etc. as was stated previously. It's all a big loop.
     

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