IBM has announced a research programme aimed at developing the next generation of RAM. In cahoots with TDK, IBM says it is looking at high capacity MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory).

The hope is that the new technology will utilise something called the spin momentum transfer effect. This means that the companies will be able to create far more compact memory cells than has so far been possible. There are other benefits, too, in terms of low power usage, high speed and endurance.

"This collaborative initiative reinforces IBM's commitment to explore new phenomena for memory applications," said Dr T.C. Chen, head of Science and Technology, IBM Research. "The project will focus on creating and demonstrating advanced magnetic materials in demanding memory chip designs."

IBM has lead the investigation into the magnetic technologies on which the new memory is based.

"This joint research and development will broaden the application of magnetic materials which has been TDK's core technology since 1935," said Mr Minoru Takahashi, CTO at TDK Corporation.