Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) developed a new three-valued memory device inspired by solid lithium-ion batteries. The proposed device, which has an extremely low energy consumption, may be key for the development of more energy-efficient and faster random-access memories (RAMs), which are ubiquitous in modern computers.
Virtually all digital devices that perform any sort of processing of information require not only a processing unit, but also a quick memory that can temporarily hold the inputs, partial results, and outputs of the operations performed. In computers, this memory is referred to as dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM. The speed of DRAM is very important and can have a significant impact in the overall speed of the system. In addition, lowering the energy consumption of memory devices has recently become a hot topic to achieve highly energy-efficient computing. Therefore, many studies have focused on testing out new memory technologies to surpass the performance of conventional DRAM.
The most basic unit in a memory chip are its memory cells. Each cell typically stores a single bit by adopting and holding one of two possible voltage values, which correspond to a stored value of either “0” or “1”. The characteristics of the individual cell largely determine the performance of the overall memory chip. Simpler and smaller cells with high speed and low energy consumption would be ideal to take highly efficient computing to the next level.
A research team from Tokyo Tech led by Prof. Taro Hitosugi and student Yuki Watanabe recently reached a new milestone in this area. These researchers had previously developed a novel memory device inspired by the design of solid lithium-ion batteries. It consisted of a stack of three solid layers made of lithium, lithium phosphate, and gold. This stack is essentially a miniature low-capacity battery that functions as a memory cell; it can be quickly switched between charged and discharged states that represent the two possible values of a bit. However, gold combines with lithium to form a thick alloy layer, which increases the amount of energy required to switch from one state to the other.
In their latest study, the researchers created a similar three-layer memory cell using nickel instead of gold. They expected better results using nickel because it does not easily form alloys with lithium, which would lead to lower energy consumption when switching. The memory device they produced was much better than the previous one; it could actually hold three different voltage states instead of two, meaning that it is a three-valued memory device. “This system can be viewed as an extremely low-capacity thin-film lithium battery with three charged states,” explains Prof. Hitosugi. This is a very interesting feature that has potential advantages for three-valued memory implementations, which may be more area efficient.
The researchers also found that nickel forms a very thin nickel oxide layer between the Ni and the lithium phosphate layers (see Fig. 1), and this oxide layer is essential for the low-energy switching of the device. The oxide layer is much thinner than that of the gold–lithium alloys that formed in their previous device, which means that this new “mini-battery” cell has a very low capacity and is therefore quickly and easily switched between states by applying minuscule currents. “The potential for extremely low energy consumption is the most noteworthy advantage of this device,” remarks Prof. Hitosugi.
Increased speed, lower energy consumption, and smaller size are all highly demanded features in future memory devices. The memory cell developed by this research team is a very promising stepping stone toward much more energy-efficient and faster computing.
Learn more: Small, fast, and highly energy-efficient memory device inspired by lithium-ion batteries
The Latest Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”faster computing” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
The Latest Bing News on:
- What is cloud computing?on June 2, 2023 at 3:56 pm
Thanks to AWS's network of high-powered and geographically distributed computing and networking tools, Netflix was instantly able to handle its fast-growing user base and serve nearly every country in ...
- Nvidia Neuralangelo: A faster path to the industrial metaverseon June 1, 2023 at 11:15 pm
Turning 2D video clips into 3D structures and objects, this tool with a tongue-twisting name promises to speed up the duplication of real objects in a virtual environment.
- Smarter, faster, bigger: These are the best computer monitors for all your gaming and work needson June 1, 2023 at 8:20 pm
From ultrafast response times and HDR displays to dual-screen convenience and versatile stands, these top monitors cater to different workflow demands. Here is our list of the best computer monitors ...
- Scientists design artificial synapses for neuromorphic computingon June 1, 2023 at 11:03 am
The human brain has been called the most complicated object in the universe. Trying to replicate that still-unmatched capability for computing, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have made a ...
- IPG turns on quantum computing to supercharge campaign optimizationon June 1, 2023 at 5:34 am
The news is indicative of growing industry interest in technology areas like quantum computing, a field that promises to solve complex, data-intensive problems — including those related to generative ...
- HSBC explores quantum computing for finance sectoron May 31, 2023 at 10:59 pm
UK banking giant working with quantum computing specialist in exploring the technology’s potential in the finance sector.
- Why banks need to start planning to use quantum computingon May 31, 2023 at 4:54 pm
Potential uses for banks include risk analysis, investment portfolio construction and financial crime monitoring.
- Edge computing: A supercharger for automating industrial operationson May 31, 2023 at 8:58 am
Industrial automation giant ABB Ltd. has seen considerable success in helping customers manage and operationalize edge-generated data. “The edge is where all of the data from the industrial plants ...
- AI boom triples valuation of Lightmatter, US startup using light for computingon May 31, 2023 at 7:13 am
Lightmatter, a Boston-based startup using light for AI computing, said on Wednesday it raised $154 million and tripled its valuation as customers in need of faster, more energy efficient computing for ...
- Canadian AI computing startup Tenstorrent and LG partner to build chipson May 30, 2023 at 6:00 am
Canadian AI computer design startup Tenstorrent said on Tuesday it was partnering with South Korea's consumer electronics firm LG Electronics Inc to build chips that power smart TVs, automotive ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Faster random-access memory
[google_news title=”” keyword=”faster random-access memory” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
The Latest Bing News on:
Faster random-access memory
- What is RAM memory: Your PC's working memory explainedon May 31, 2023 at 7:00 am
If you've ever wondered what RAM memory is, you're not alone. When buying a new PC, it can be one of the most important specs to look for, and we'll show you why.
- Thanks For The Memories: Touring The Awesome Random Access Of Oldon May 30, 2023 at 5:00 pm
I almost didn’t include it here because it really isn’t random access. However ... Hard drives and semiconductor memory got cheaper and denser and faster. Bubble memory wound up as a choice ...
- How to clear virtual memory: Windows 10/11, pagefileon May 26, 2023 at 6:47 pm
Virtual memory ensures that programs run smoothly. All programs on a PC use random access memory (RAM), but when there isn't enough memory to run a program, Windows temporarily moves information ...
- NXP MRAM Automotive Chips And Lam’s Semiverseon May 23, 2023 at 7:31 am
NXP S32 automotive processors will include embedded MRAM from TSMC. Lam is using machine learning tools to create a true semiconductor manufacturing Semiverse.
- Next-Generation Memory Market to Surpass USD 15 Billion at a CAGR of 31% by 2030– Report by Market Research Future (MRFR)on May 23, 2023 at 6:28 am
Next-generation memory includes technologies like Phase Change Memory (PCM), Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM ... including faster data transfer rates, lower power consumption, and high ...
- Random Access Memory Definitionon April 27, 2023 at 4:59 pm
Random Access Memory is temporary memory used to store ... the more data the computer can store there, which can lead to faster performance. Any information that is stored in RAM when you turn ...
- future memory chipson April 15, 2023 at 3:36 am
For decades, the goal has been to create a random access memory (RAM ... chips are always getting faster, more dense and less expensive. See non-volatile memory. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL ...
- Best RAM Memory 2023 • 7 RAM Memory Reviewson January 14, 2021 at 7:11 am
RAM is also known as main memory and is the acronym for random-access memory ... number of cycles per second that RAM can complete. The faster, the better. Obviously, if you want RAM with high ...
- SRAM Modules Informationon February 11, 2018 at 6:56 am
SRAM memory modules use static random access memory (SRAM), a type of memory that is faster, more reliable, and more expensive than dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Unlike DRAM computer memory ...