Mini magnets could mean 500GB iPods

Parkin's magnetic concept could increase the amount of data stored on devices by up to 100 times

We've written about the possibilities offered by magnetic storage before on, but things could be about to get a whole lot more interesting. The New York Times has reported that an IBM fellow is working on storage concepts that could enable us to store many times more information on similarly-sized devices in just a few years.

Stuart Parkin is working on a magnetic concept that could increase the amount of data stored on devices by up to 100 times. Parkin wants to create a type of memory that will be universal and can be used not only for storage, but for system memory and even to replace flash memory.

Racetrack memory

As well as its cost, flash storage remains slow in write speeds and Parkin believes he could be the one to replace it. He refers to his innovation as "racetrack memory".

"Finally, after all these years, we're reaching fundamental physics limits," he told the New York Times. "Racetrack says we're going to break those scaling rules by going into the third dimension."

The concept means billions of incredibly fine wire loops would be placed around the edges of a silicon chip. A current would then be used to move magnets up and down the wires at speeds greater than 100 metres per second. This would create the digital data as ones and zeros.

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Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.