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New Phase-change Memory 1000 Times Faster than Flash

Discussion in 'News' started by malware, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. malware New Member

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    Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data for 100,000 years and retrieving that data a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash memory and micro-drives, all using less power and space than current memory technologies.

    Ritesh Agarwal, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and colleagues developed a self-assembling nanowire of germanium antimony telluride, a phase-changing material that switches between amorphous and crystalline structures, the key to read/write computer memory. Fabrication of the nanoscale devices, roughly 100 atoms in diameter, was performed without conventional lithography, the blunt, top-down manufacturing process that employs strong chemicals and often produces unusable materials with space, size and efficiency limitations.

    Instead, researchers used self-assembly, a process by which chemical reactants crystallize at lower temperatures mediated by nanoscale metal catalysts to spontaneously form nanowires that were 30-50 nanometers in diameter and 10 micrometers in length, and then they fabricated memory devices on silicon substrates.

    "We measured the resulting nanowires for write-current amplitude, switching speed between amorphous and crystalline phases, long-term durability and data retention time," Agarwal said.

    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.

    "This new form of memory has the potential to revolutionize the way we share information, transfer data and even download entertainment as consumers," Agarwal said. "This represents a potential sea-change in the way we access and store data."

    Phase-change memory in general features faster read/write, better durability and simpler construction compared with other memory technologies such as Flash. The challenge has been to reduce the size of phase change materials by conventional lithographic techniques without damaging their useful properties. Self-assembled phase-change nanowires, as created by Penn researchers, operate with less power and are easier to scale, providing a useful new strategy for ideal memory that provides efficient and durable control of memory several orders of magnitude greater than current technologies.

    "The atomic scale of the nanodevices may represent the ultimate size limit in current-induced phase transition systems for non-volatile memory applications," Agarwal said.

    Current solid-state technology for products like memory cards, digital cameras and personal data assistants traditionally utilize Flash memory, a non-volatile and durable computer memory that can be erased and reprogrammed electronically. Data on Flash drives provides most battery-powered devices with acceptable levels of durability and moderately fast data access. Yet the technology's limits are apparent. Digital cameras can't snap rapid-fire photos because it takes precious seconds to store the last photo to memory. If the memory device is fast, as in DRAM and SRAM used in computers, then it is volatile; if the plug on a desktop computer is pulled, all recent data entry is lost.

    Therefore, a universal memory device is desired that can be scalable, fast, durable and nonvolatile, a difficult set of requirements which have now been demonstrated at Penn.

    "Imagine being able to store hundreds of high-resolution movies in a small drive, downloading them and playing them without wasting time on data buffering, or imagine booting your laptop computer in a few seconds as you wouldn't need to transfer the operating system to active memory" Agarwal said.

    The research was performed by Agarwal, Se-Ho Lee and Yeonwoong Jung of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn. The findings appear online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology and in the October print edition.

    The research was supported by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Penn, the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation award and a grant from the National Science Foundation.

    Source: Penn
     
  2. Weer New Member

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    I'm getting two 250GB of these drives and setting them up in a RAID0 array.

    Who's with me?
     
  3. effmaster

    effmaster New Member

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    Whats the memory that this technology can currently hold if it were mass produced right now and also what would be its price?
     
  4. mandelore

    mandelore New Member

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    at last! people of the future can watch Simpsons episodes :)
     
  5. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    WOW That's fast!
     
  6. mandelore

    mandelore New Member

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    wow, thats BIG! :laugh:
     
  7. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Imagine having an MP3 player with one of these in - & since its uber low power consumption if that was to live off a standard Ipod Nano battry im sure it would run non stop for upto or over a month at least before re-charging :rockout::rockout::rockout:
     
  8. effmaster

    effmaster New Member

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    There are other things other than the memory that use up battery life silly.

    Its a pretty little square/rectangle that we like to call a screen::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  9. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    So could they solder this right on the motherboard in the future and max out what the chipset can handle?

    Also I wonder how this tech would work on video cards.

    I don't know how to compare this 1000x flash speed Vs ddr 2,3, and 4.
     
  10. WarEagleAU

    WarEagleAU Bird of Prey

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    I just read about this in this past Sunday's Paper...Its pretty friggin awesome.
     
  11. effmaster

    effmaster New Member

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    Yeah and they don't seem to indicate the sizes of the technology so far. that leaves me worried that this is a fresh start like flash technology was with very expensive costs for only 8 MB of storage.

    Also what comes after GHZ speed for graphics memory is it THZ (Terrahertz)?:confused:
     
  12. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    yea but we would have to go past 9999Hmz for 1.0 Terahertz. That's a long ways away.
     
  13. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    not really an issue (or a valid point) as there ARE mp3 players available that dont have a screen such as the ipod shuffle series etc

    & even with a screen the battry life would at least be up to 25% & over longer as the memory itself will draw on less power unless your totally stoned or have some sorta Hyperactivity Disorder & play with your mp3 player constantly to make it light up, if that is the case then yeah maybe having low power consumption memory wont be so beneficial for you.....

    & before I get flamed....I was born with ADHD - dont teach the 'fidgit king' how to fidgit
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  14. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    lol, we put the liquid powered batteries, just take a leak in the battery to recharge it lmao. and btw, i'm with whoever's getting 2x 250g of those in raid0 rofl. but then again, idk if raid 0 is going to be very effective since these things are freaking fast, lets get raid 1 instead :toast:
     
  15. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    ^^^ Match made i heaven.

    1x leaky battry + 1x nanowire
     
  16. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    ditto lmao. you can get the liquid batteries already, they're only in japan though, damn japense get all the good stuff, basically you can fill it with any liquid and the battery reacts with em and it gets loads of juice, then you can just take a leak in the battery if you're far away from water and your battery ran out lol. if you have some friends in japan, ask em to send you some, and then maybe you can through a few over here lol. i need those for my camera.. bad.,
     
  17. effmaster

    effmaster New Member

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    Notice you said the ipod Nano and not shuffle I even highlighted it for you and



    im with you as well though I used to have ADHD and can't stand seeing my lcd to go blank but now im ADD but still can't stand seeing that screen go blank lol:laugh::laugh:
     
  18. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I had ADHD also so I know where your coming from - the holy land of 'King Of Fidgiting'

    ok....with what you said being taken into consideration....nobody said you cant jerry rig a Nano battery to something without a screen. just because i just sat 'nano battree' doesnt mean that I actually use it for a nano player. :p gotta think ahead lol

    yeah i would never buy an mp3 player that didnt have an LCD just like the fact that i would never buy an analogue watch (mines half digital & half anologue - keeps me confused) so no Ipod shuffles for meeee!!
     

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