Aug 152013
 

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Terabytes, not gigbytes, will be the norm with resistive memory.

A team at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering has developed a novel way to build what many see as the next generation memory storage devices for portable electronic devices including smart phones, tablets, laptops and digital cameras.

The device is based on the principles of resistive memory, which can be used to create memory cells that are smaller, operate at a higher speed and offer more storage capacity than flash memory cells, the current industry standard. Terabytes, not gigbytes, will be the norm with resistive memory.

The key advancement in the UC Riverside research is the creation of a zinc oxide nano-island on silicon. It eliminates the need for a second element called a selector device, which is often a diode.

“This is a significant step as the electronics industry is considering wide-scale adoption of resistive memory as an alternative for flash memory,” said Jianlin Liu, a professor of electrical engineering at UC Riverside who is one of the authors of the paper. “It really simplifies the process and lowers the fabrication cost.”

Flash memory has been the standard in the electronics industry for decades. But, as flash continues to get smaller and users want higher storage capacity, it appears to reaching the end of its lifespan, Liu said.

With that in mind, resistive memory is receiving significant attention from academia and the electronics industry because it has a simple structure, high-density integration, fast operation and long endurance.

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