Storage technology that’s 1,000 times faster than current SSDs

via hothardware.com

via hothardware.com

Intel and Micron announce the all-new 3D XPoint storage technology that promises to be a thousand time faster than existing NAND Flash memory

Intel and Micron today unveiled their all-new memory technology called 3D XPoint (pronounced “cross-point”). This is a new class of memory that can be used both as system memory as well as nonvolatile storage. In other words, 3D XPoint can be used to replace both a computer’s RAM and its solid-state drive (SSD).

The companies claim that 3D XPoint is a major breakthrough in memory process technology, the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989. It’s said to be extremely fast and durable, up to a thousand times faster (both in read and write speeds), and it will have higher endurance than existing NAND Flash memory currently being used in SSDs. What’s more, it also has as much as 10 times greater density, leading to much more storage capacity in the same physical space, while remaining as energy efficient and affordable as existing NAND flash memory.

Mark Durcan, Micron’s CEO, says the new technology is not to be confused with the 3D Flash memory used in Micron’s latest SSDs, since 3D XPoint is a completely new class of memory.

Read more: Intel, Micron debut 3D XPoint storage technology that’s 1,000 times faster than current SSDs

 

The Latest on: Memory Technology

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Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power

Dr Sharath Sriram, RMIT University

Dr Sharath Sriram, RMIT University

RMIT University researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain.

The researchers have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale memory devices.

The pioneering work will feature on a forthcoming cover of prestigious materials science journal Advanced Functional Materials (11 November).

Project leader Dr Sharath Sriram, co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, said the nanometer-thin stacked structure was created using thin film, a functional oxide material more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.

“The thin film is specifically designed to have defects in its chemistry to demonstrate a ‘memristive’ effect – where the memory element’s behaviour is dependent on its past experiences,” Dr Sriram said.

“With flash memory rapidly approaching fundamental scaling limits, we need novel materials and architectures for creating the next generation of non-volatile memory.

“The structure we developed could be used for a range of electronic applications – from ultrafast memory devices that can be shrunk down to a few nanometers, to computer logic architectures that replicate the versatility and response time of a biological neural network.

“While more investigation needs to be done, our work advances the search for next generation memory technology can replicate the complex functions of human neural system – bringing us one step closer to the bionic brain.”

Read more . . . 

 

The Latest on: Nano-scale data storage

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Quick-change materials break the silicon speed limit for computers

Quick-change materials break the silicon speed limit for computers via University of Cambridge

Quick-change materials break the silicon speed limit for computers
via University of Cambridge

Faster, smaller, greener computers, capable of processing information up to 1,000 times faster than currently available models, could be made possible by replacing silicon with materials that can switch back and forth between different electrical states.

As demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities

Stephen Elliott

The present size and speed limitations of computer processors and memory could be overcome by replacing silicon with ‘phase-change materials’ (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states – one crystalline and conducting and the other glassy and insulating – in billionths of a second.

Modelling and tests of PCM-based devices have shown that logic-processing operations can be performed in non-volatile memory cells using particular combinations of ultra-short voltage pulses, which is not possible with silicon-based devices.

In these new devices, logic operations and memory are co-located, rather than separated, as they are in silicon-based computers. These materials could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The processors, designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Singapore A*A*STAR Data-Storage Institute and the Singapore University of Technology and Design, use a type of PCM based on a chalcogenide glass, which can be melted and recrystallized in as little as half a nanosecond (billionth of a second) using appropriate voltage pulses.

The calculations performed by most computers, mobile phones and tablets are carried out by silicon-based logic devices. The solid-state memory used to store the results of such calculations is also silicon-based. “However, as demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities,” said Professor Stephen Elliott of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research.

Read more . . . 

 

The Latest on: Phase-change materials

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