Sep
18
2007

Next generation flash memory

Flash memory for cameras and hand held devices is getting cheaper, faster, and comes in ever larger capacities. New methods of production will be needed, though, to overcome current size and efficiency limitations.

Self-assembling memory: Ritesh Agarwal, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Self-assembling memory: Ritesh Agarwal, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a prototype of a memory device that is fast, durable, nonvolatile, and scalable. By using self-assembly techniques, nanowires that were 30-50 nanometers in diameter and 10 micrometers in length were formed. The nanowires were made out of germanium antimony telluride, a phase-changing material that switches between amorphous and crystalline structures, the key to read/write computer memory.

Tests showed extremely low power consumption for data encoding (0.7mW per bit). They also indicated the data writing, erasing and retrieval (50 nanoseconds) to be 1,000 times faster than conventional Flash memory and indicated the device would not lose data even after approximately 100,000 years of use, all with the potential to realize terabit-level nonvolatile memory device density.

The downside of this technology, at least for consumers, is that it is far from hitting the market. Agarwal said that a commercial product is still eight to ten years away.

Source: University of Pennsylvania News

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Ben's picture
Ben says:

Get ready for a thumbnail sized 10 terabite I-pod that runs off a human hair sized battery for 10,000 years.

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 7:49am

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