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magnetic bubble memory

magnetic bubble memory A type of digital memory in which data is represented by magnetic bubbles that are made to move through a stationary planar medium by applying suitable magnetic fields; the bubbles are tiny circular areas (stable magnetic domains) in which the medium is magnetized in the reverse direction to the rest of the medium. Bubble memory thus differs from magnetic tape and disk stores, in which the medium moves and the data bits are stationary with respect to it.

Bubble memory consumes little power, has a large functional packing density, is normally nonvolatile, and is resistant to cosmic rays and similar particles. Having no moving parts it is more rugged than disk memory. Bubble memory has found limited application where these properties are of value. However the initial promise of the technology (pioneered by Bell Telephone Laboratories) has not been realized in full since manufacturing costs have proved higher than expected.

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