Thursday, January 20, 2011

#CHIPS: "'Universal' memory aims to replace flash/DRAM"

Researchers have developed a single “unified” device that can perform both volatile and nonvolatile memory operation, with applications that could affect computer start times and energy efficiency for internet servers.

Universal memory chips are as fast as main memory, but can store data long-term like hard disks, collapsing the memory hierarchy that today burns so much energy by powering down when idle without losing data values. Look for universal memories to revolutionize computing over the rest of the decade. R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) cross-section of the dual floating gate FET from NCSU.

Here is what my EETimes story says about universal memories: A single "universal" memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory was recently invented at North Carolina State University, according to researchers. The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor (FET), should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say...
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