IBM works towards zero boot time

International Business Machines Corp. and German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG said they have made an important step toward developing a new kind of memory that could enable computers to boot up instantaneously.

IBM said that the magnetic random access memory technology, or MRAM, could replace existing forms of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM -- which is the most popular form of computer memory -- as early as 2005.

But it also acts like so-called "flash" memory and retains information when power is turned off, which means that it could replace flash, as well. With MRAM, a personal computer could turn on almost immediately, like a light switch, IBM said.

"It really demonstrates that there is technical feasibility. We can get the performance, we can get the cell size," said Randy Isaac, vice president of strategic alliances at IBM. IBM's memory cell is 1.4 microns, or about 20 million times smaller than the top of a pencil eraser.

News source: CNN

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