Thursday, September 23, 2010

#IBM Characterizes Single-Atom DRAM

Single-atom DRAMs offer the ultimate in memory density, where each node in their atomic lattice is encoded with a 1 or 0 (magnetic spin up or down). IBM's recent characterization of an atomic scale memory bit is the first step toward realization of such atomically accurate semiconductor materials. Invented at IBM in 1980, the original scanning tunneling microscope (STM) facilitated the current DRAM, flash and other memory technologies. Now IBM's new pulsed-STM can set and reset bits on individual atoms as well as turn the bit-refresh process into a super slow-motion movie. Look for current semiconductors to extend their lifetime using the new pulsed-STM method recently invented by IBM, as well as for new designer materials to be realized that finally make commercial quantum computing a reality by 2020. RColinJohnson @NextGenLogScanning tunneling microscope topograph of a iron atom (large yellow) on a nitride-covered substrate (blue) which may someday enable single-atom bit-cells for memory chips. Next to the iron are two more atoms and a missing atom defect in the nitride.

Here is what EETimes says about pulsed-STM: The ultimate memory chips of the future will encode bits on individual atoms, a capability recently demonstrated for iron atoms by IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., which unveiled a new pulsed technique for scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs). Pulsed-STMs yield nanosecond time-resolution, a requirement for designing the atomic-scale memory chips, solar panels and quantum computers of the future...
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