back to article US boffins turn up the spin on holographic memory

Alongside the “beat Moore's law” stream of research, computer science boffins have also spent years working on increasing memory density. Now, University of California Riverside researchers have demonstrated a holographic memory based on a phenomenon called spin waves. As the university explains in this canned statement, spin …

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I remember reading about photonic holographic memory over a decade ago in New Scientist. Someone had built / was building / was thinking of building a cube where you'd have two lasers able to target in x,y and z dimensions of it and where the lasers intersected, it would flip the state of the atom / molecule. Thus you had writable memory that wasn't a thin wafer, but a three dimensional block. Enormous data density was supposed to be possible along with staggering access times. They had some clever way of reading that state back by using one laser, or a lower-energy laser, I forget.

At the time, it sounded fantastic. Anyone know whatever happened to that?

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IIRC, a half-inch cube could hold about 4TB. Access time was a major issue, though. And that's about the time that prices for existing memory designs AND disk storage began to plummet. As a result, the 3D memory array became "interesting but economically impractical."

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Thanks for that. I've often wondered what happened to that. Shame - maybe someone will revisit it someday and solve the problems with access time. A terabyte of RAM would be a delightful thing.

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@h4rm0ny

That was called "spin-tronics" and the promises never materialized. Looks like this one has it beat - at least you have a prototype in hand, with hard numbers to back it up.

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still want my memory cube

something for the long term.

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