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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Method and Apparatus for Reading a Non-Volatile Memory Using a Spin Torque Oscillator", for Approval

March 6, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Edelstein, Alan S. (Alexandria, VA), filed on December 18, 2012, was made available online on February 20, 2014.

The patent's assignee is U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Most modern memory is based on the evolution of magnetic recording. One form of magnetic memory is a hard disk wherein magnetic bits of information are stored on a magnetic film medium in very small localized regions. Depending on the magnetization within a region, each region represents either a logic high or logic low value (i.e. a '1' or '0'). The regions are electronically read via moving mechanical read/write heads. The heads are mounted proximate a spinning disk supporting a magnetic film. A read head operates by sensing changes in the resistance of the sensor in the read head induced by the data bit regions as they pass under the read head. A write head stores data on the disk by utilizing magnetic flux to set the direction and amplitude of the magnetic moment for each bit region passing beneath the write head.

"Disk storage has a limited storage lifetime, bit density, and volatility. The magnetic medium used in traditional disk storage degrades within 10 years. The information is stored in small magnetic bit regions through magnetizing each region in a particular direction. Over time, the magnetization of the bit regions is corrupted by external electromagnetic forces, through prolonged exposure to the Earth's magnetic field, or through thermal upsets. Thermal upsets are statistical processes that occur when the magnetization of a bit region is thermally activated to overcome the anisotropy barrier.

"Bit density of conventional hard disks is near 200 Gbits/in.sup.2; however, bit region size is limited by the superparamagnetic limit. Traditional magnetic recording is approaching the superparamagnetic limit. Thus, further advances in storage density using traditional storage techniques is becoming increasingly difficult.

"As electronic recording evolves and more information is digitized, there exists not just a critical necessity for storage volume but also storage permanency. Therefore, a need exists for high density, stable, non-volatile memory with a longer storage lifetime."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "A method and apparatus for reading electronic memory comprising a current source, a spin transfer oscillator, coupled to the current source, for generating a radio frequency (RF) signal, a magnetic probe field, a magnetic media comprising bit regions of varying magnetic permeability, the spin torque oscillator positioned proximate the magnetic media, wherein a frequency of the RF signal varies in response to the change of the magnetic probe field and/or a self field of the spin transfer oscillator caused by the permeability of the bit region proximate the spin torque oscillator are provided herein. Other and further embodiments of the present invention are described below.


"Embodiments of the present invention, briefly summarized above and discussed in greater detail below, can be understood by reference to the illustrative embodiments of the invention depicted in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

"FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention using a spin torque oscillator (STO) and a spectrum analyzer to read magnetic media.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention utilizing a superheterodyne receiver and the STO of FIG. 1 to read magnetic media.

"FIG. 3 depicts an exemplary flow diagram to determine bit values of the read media of FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4 is a graph of an exemplary comparison threshold applied in FIGS. 2 and 3.

"To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the figures. The figures are not drawn to scale and may be simplified for clarity. It is contemplated that elements and features of one embodiment may be beneficially incorporated in other embodiments without further recitation."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Edelstein, Alan S. Method and Apparatus for Reading a Non-Volatile Memory Using a Spin Torque Oscillator. Filed December 18, 2012 and posted February 20, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Government Agencies Offices and Entities.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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