With both Motorola and IBM firmly lined up behind a single contender, the five-year search for a "universal RAM" technology offering a combination of non-volatility and high-speed random access appears to be all but over.
Among other things, MRAM is designed to eliminate several of the most infuriating artifacts of the computer age: the interminable wait for devices to boot up and power down, and those irritating operating system messages about "loading" and "saving your settings."
"Currently computers need to load information into local memory from the hard disk when the power is turned on, and that data transfer can't even start until after the hard drive has spun up to speed," Way said. "Whenever you shut down, data has to flow back in the other direction from the volatile memory to the hard drive.
"MRAM is designed to allow programs and data to remain in the local memory and may even, someday, allow us to simply reach out and touch an on/off button to turn off Windows in lieu of going through a ritualized shut-down procedure."
BTW, opportunities for software entrepreneuers abound.