New Storage Media from RMIT on the Horizon

technetics Uncategorized

Smaller may mean Less Reliable

As the demand for memory increases and the calls for smaller storage spaces grow louder, flash memory simply cannot continue to scale. At this point, the smaller components are causing reliability to suffer, and innovations that might increase storage capacity without a loss in performance have proven prohibitively expensive.

New Options Emerge

As we approach the twilight of the flash memory era, new sources of storage are coming into their own, from quantum-level atomic storage to crystal-based storage and even storage based on the fundamental building blocks of life, DNA. Scientists from RMIT University are researching nanoscale devices that will be reliable, high-capacity and mimic the composition of the most powerful computing device known—the human brain!

Memristors and the Bionic Brain

Memristors—widely regarded as the solution with the most potential—is a scalable, non-volatile (meaning it stays where it is even without power) and relatively inexpensive technology. The architecture itself is quite technical, but memristors create more storage capacity by stacking thin films to create 3-D layers and using stable ions rather than flaky electrons for memory retention.

The RMIT scientists have added a new wrinkle to this technology by specifically designing chemical defects into the structure that create a “memristive” effect, allowing the memory element’s behaviour to be affected by previous experience. This could conceivably lead to not just improved storage platforms, but to devices like bionic brains that can process details of their environment.


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