Breakthrough: Instant Computer Memory
I.B.M. has solved two related problems with phase-change memory and now says the next-generation data-storage technology will be ready for use in 2016 in servers.
What's the Latest Development?
Research into phase-change technology has yielded a computer chip that is 100 times more powerful than the current flash memory used in most computers and servers. Whereas consumer electronics prioritize the cost per bit ratio, the new chip would primarily target the server market where speed is paramount. "Our main application, being in the server business, is enterprise storage and memory applications," says I.B.M.'s Haris Pozidis. "Phase-change memory records data through heat changes in the electrical properties of a tiny patch of the glasslike chalcogenide material."
What's the Big Idea?
Phase-change research is, by now, decades old, but recent advances indicate it may be a promising avenue in which to pursue further technological innovation. "I.B.M.'s phase-change memory (P.C.M.) technology isn't yet ready for real-world use, but the improvements in multilevel storage and drift tolerance means the technology should be competitive in 2016 for the server applications I.B.M. has in mind." The technology, however, is making gains in other markets with different requirements, like Samsung mobile phones, which uses P.C.M. instead of flash memory.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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