Nano Memory 1,000 Times Faster

Nanoscale computer memory retrieves data 1,000 times faster

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.

example of nanowires

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.”

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.

This may not be as impressive as the Optical Memory 50.000 Times Faster, but if this nano-memory gets here before optical memory… I’ll just make due with the nano-memory for a while.

5 thoughts on “Nano Memory 1,000 Times Faster

  1. Leo

    0.7mW per bit? That’s 5.6mW per byte and 5.7344W per kB, so that makes about 6MW per GB.
    Better bring this down by a factor of 10^9 before going into production.

  2. Simon

    1.000 times faster? Doesn’t that mean it’s the same speed?

    Not if you’re European. “.” is the thousands separator and “,” is the decimal separator.

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