Better-than-binary multi-level memory
Memory could be getting an upgrade beyond the two states used in binary, as researchers have designed a magnetic element with six stable magnetic states, according to a paper published in Applied Physics Letters.
They consume less power, allow memory to be written and read at a quicker pace, and last longer.
"Furthermore, since MRAM is different in its nature from flash, there is no reason that it should suffer from the drawbacks of multi-level-cell flash memory."
This technique, known as spin-orbit torque switching, shows that more memory can be packed over a tighter space.
Researchers believe that even more magnetic states can be created by adding more layers of magnetic film – crossing four ellipses could give eight magnetic states.
The researchers said they would like to "progress towards fabricating a prototype" that would help them "convince the magnetic memory industry to make a shift towards multi-level magnetic memory."