Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cross bar's RRAM 20 times faster than flash memory!

The U.S. startup Crossbar has introduced a new, non-volatile memory technology based on resistive RAM (RRAM). Up to 1 TB should be possible to save on a chip, which is 20 times faster than flash memory, and consumes significantly less power. Since 2010 Crossbar operates in secret to his version of Resistive RAM (RRAM), a promising memory technology that could replace flash memory. Crossbar is based on research by the University of Michigan, whose patents acquired crossbar in this area. Professor Wei Lu of the University of Michigan is the co-founded Crossbar. Now the company itself is development well and opens to the public. Crossbar RRAM is to be superior in terms of flash memory storage density, speed and power consumption. Thus, the company promises to accommodate up to 1 TB on a single chip with 200 square millimeters. The chips are stacked, should be capable of the same area store multiple terabytes. It is RRAM that is about 20 times faster than conventional NAND-type flash and that is close to the speed of RAM, promises Crossbar. But the power consumption should be only about 5 percent compared to flash memory, which should lead to significantly longer battery life. At the same time RRAM is to hold 10 times longer than flash memory. RRAM is thereby produced with conventional CMOS process and can be stacked on a logic chip. The RRAM chips consist of three layers: a lower non metallic electrode, central switching medium amorphous silicon and an upper metal electrode. When a voltage is applied to the electrodes, little threads form in the circuit medium. Individual cells are less than 5 nanometers across, turn in less than 100 nanoseconds and are thus able to write data at 140 MB / s. In this case, only a voltage of 3 volts and amperage 1-10 microamperes is required. Unlike flash memory Crossbar RRAM must not be erased before writing and to keep the data for about 20 years. A first Crossbar memory array is made on the basis of RRAM in a commercial fabrication to show that the technique is not far removed from the market. The company plans to bring RRAM chips for NAND (data) and NOR (logic) to the market. Moreover Crossbar wants to license its technology to developers of SoCs (system-on-a-chip), so that they can integrate the storage technology in the next generation of chips. When the first Crossbar chips should hit the market, the company does not reveal yet. It will focus on the first step in embedded SoCs. Applications for Cross bars RRAM are many, if technology holds for what the manufacturer currently promises: consumer electronics, Smartphones and tablets, which offer enough space for personal music and movie collection in HD quality SSDs for servers and desktops, networked sensors with several years of battery life or smart cards with large memory capacity for mobile payments.

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