Spin flip trick points to fastest RAM yet - tech - 13 August 2008 - New Scientist Tech

Engineers and physicists from Germany have demonstrated the quickest prototype yet of an advanced form of RAM tipped by hardware manufacturers to be the future of computing. The device is so fast it brushes against a fundamental speed-limit for the process.

Magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) is a faster and more energy efficient version of the RAM used in computers today, and hardware companies think it will in a few years dominate the market. Its speed and low power will in particular boost mobile computing.

Whereas conventional RAM stores a digital 1 or 0 as the level of charge in the capacitor, MRAM stores it by changing the north-south direction of a tiny magnet's magnetic field. Each variable magnet is positioned next to one with a fixed field. Reading a stored value involves running a current through the pair to discover the direction of the variable magnet's field."