Magnetic RAM Looks to Jump-Start PCs
IBM and Infineon Technologies have made a big leap forward in the development of a memory chip that could lead to "instant-on" computers that are smaller and more powerful, according to officials.
At the VSLI Symposia in Kyoto, Japan, last week, the two companies presented a paper in which they say they have integrated magnetic memory components with a high-performance logic base.
The move gives IBM and Infineon a leg up in the development of magnetic RAM, or MRAM, and could lead to the commercialization of the technology by 2005, said Bill Gallagher, manager of magnetoelectronics at IBM Research.
"Its puts the memory closer to the logic base, which means faster access to memory," Gallagher said in an interview with eWEEK.
MRAM uses magnetic—rather than electronic—charges to store bits of data. This is done by controlling the spin of captured electrons. According to Gallagher, this technology could lead to portable devices that can not only store more data but also access it faster, all the while using less battery power.
Microsoft to Incorporate RFID Technology
Microsoft has committed resources to developing software and services that will help companies use radio tags to track and manage goods in their stores and factories.
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology enables retailers, manufacturers and distributors to attach miniature radio transmitters to small items such as boxes of detergent and track them remotely. The tags act as a replacement for bar codes.
Microsoft said it will work to make its desktop, server and application software work with RFID and develop programs designed to use the new retail tagging technology.
Feds Ask for More Spam Control Powers
The Federal Trade Commission wants Congress to give it the authority to secretly investigate suspected sources of spam e-mail and to track them across international borders.
In the past, the FTC has prosecuted spammers under anti-fraud laws, but the commissioners told the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee that expanded powers would make them more effective.
The commissioners also said they wanted to gain authority over telecommunications companies through which spammers send their e-mail, as well as see existing telemarketing rules extended to commercial e-mail; that would require senders of commercial e-mail to be honest in their pitches.
Mercury Interactive Scoops Up Kintana
Mercury Interactive joined the growing list of companies consolidating various segments of the software industry. The company, which makes software that helps companies test, tune and monitor the performance of software systems, last week announced a $225 million deal to purchase Kintana, whose software enables companies to track and evaluate technology projects.