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Purdue Researchers Demonstrate Low-Power, Fast FeTRAM Memory 50

Posted by timothy
from the there-is-no-university-of-purdue dept.
eldavojohn writes "Researchers at Purdue University's Birck Nanotechnology Center have released news of a proof of concept new ferroelectric transistor random access memory or 'FeTRAM.' This new technology is nonvolatile and the researchers claim it could use up to 99% less energy than current flash memory. Unlike most FeRAM technology that uses a capacitor, FeTRAM provides nondestructive readout by storing information using a ferroelectric transistor instead. From the article: 'The new technology also is compatible with industry manufacturing processes for complementary metal oxide semiconductors, or CMOS, used to produce computer chips. It has the potential to replace conventional memory systems.' So if they get this into production, you might not have to worry about your laptop cooking your genitals. They've been published in ACS (paywalled) and the professor leading the research has many patents filed relating to transistor nanotechnology."
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Purdue Researchers Demonstrate Low-Power, Fast FeTRAM Memory

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  • Confusing muddle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @10:39AM (#37527076)

    Just the summary has me confused. Is this a RAM replacement or a FLASH replacement tech? Or both?

    I guess between green getting grant money and industry looking to lower their power bills pushing energy savings is mandatory, but I never though flash/ssd was a power hog anyway, so if it is a flash/hdd replacement that wouldn't be all that important. Now ram modules, especially high performance 'gamer' memory has heat sinks and gets plenty hot enough to matter. Especially in heavily loaded servers hosting a lot of virtuals, those puppies get loaded up on ram so I suspect would account for a fair chunk of the total power budget in a rack full.

    But I wouldn't throw venture capital at em just yet. Every few months it seems we see a story about a new memory tech. Some of them, MRAM for example, do eventually surface but they can't scale up enough to compete with conventional memory so have to settle for a niche where their special properties make them viable. Again, look at MRAM. You can buy the stuff and it really works. It is sold as a drop in replacement for old EEPROM and SRAM chips in the old DIP packages. Not only low power operation, it retains memory with the power off and no need for a backup battery. But a few Mbits per chip seems to be the current limit so it isn't a threat to either flash or dram unless it can scale up a thousand fold. Kinda like the old magnetic bubble memory that was always a few years away from making hard drives obsolete back in the '80s.... until hard drive capacity per dollar grew so much faster than bubble memory could hope to catch up to and R&D died out on it, leaving it but a footnote in tech history.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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