Scientists have developed an advanced phase change memristor memory that
Hardware

Scientists have developed an advanced phase change memristor memory that is faster and better than flash memory

University of Rochester researchers developed a new type of non-volatile memory based on the well-known ReRAM memory (resistive memory) and PRAM (phase change memory). The hybrid turned out to be so good that over time it could become the successor to the popular flash memory.

    A two-dimensional material with alternation between two states of crystal structure, as imagined by an artist.  Image source: University of Rochester illustration / Michael Osadciw

A two-dimensional material with alternation between two states of crystal structure, as imagined by an artist. Image source: University of Rochester illustration / Michael Osadciw

As scientists note, each individual memory – resistive memory (sometimes called a memristor) and phase change memory – has both its own advantages and disadvantages. Resistive memory consumes little, but data recording in the form of a thread-like reversible ionic conduction can be very unreliable. Phase change memories store information just fine, but the writing and erasing processes that convert the cell from an amorphous state to a crystalline state and back are very, very energy intensive.

The hybrid proposed by scientists creates a state of matter in which it is at the limit of stability in terms of crystal structure. The slightest shift to either side transforms the memory cell into a crystalline state with low or high resistivity. This shift is triggered by an electromagnetic field, like switching a transistor.

“We essentially created it by simply stretching the material in one direction and squeezing it in the other.” – say the authors work. — This allows you to increase productivity by orders of magnitude. We see a path where this could end up in home computers as a super-fast, super-efficient form of storage. This could have a big impact on computer science in general.”

In fact, the new memory is a deformed two-dimensional material such as molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe).2). Tensioned metal thin films MoTe2 form contacts that cause a voltage-controlled phase transition from the semimetal to the semiconductor. The phase transition in turn forms a vertical transport channel (memristor) with semiconductor MoTe2 as an active region.

Thanks to the expansion, the channel switches at a voltage of 90 mV. The switching time is 5 ns, the holding time is over 105 s, and the expected number of switching cycles is over 108th. The switching voltage and number of cycles are adjusted both mechanically (during production) and electrically when adjusting the device. Prototype experiments have shown promise, allowing scientists to build on their success over time.

RELATED TOPICS

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment