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ARM Researching Novel Chip Memory 88

An anonymous reader writes "ARM may be best known as processor designer but the company is now working on a non-volatile memory that could scale down to 5nm, according to an Electronics 360 report. The memory is something different called Correlated-electron RAM that was originally developed by a professor at University of Colorado. ARM is joining a research collaboration to try and make the memory an option at ARM-friendly foundries."
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ARM Researching Novel Chip Memory

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  • I love ARM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @06:22AM (#46132973)
    I love that ARM didn't initially go head to head with Intel and thus ended up not getting crushed by them (think transmeta/AMD). I thus have hopes that this not only works because it is cool but because ARM is cool and deserves another win for what they have done.
    • ARM started as Acorn in 1978, the same time that Intel created the 8086 processor. The current popular ARM processors are actually MIPS processors which likewise goes back to the early 1980s. So this stuff is oooooold.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Megol ( 3135005 )

        ARM started as Acorn in 1978, the same time that Intel created the 8086 processor. The current popular ARM processors are actually MIPS processors which likewise goes back to the early 1980s. So this stuff is oooooold.

        MIPS?!? Did you just make that up? Do you think x86 are MIPS too?!?

        ARM and MIPS are processors and there the similarities end.

        • Also both RISC.
          • by Megol ( 3135005 )
            The original ARM ISA is pretty complex for a RISC design and isn't as strongly pipeline optimized as many RISC (even ignoring the lack of branch delay slots). Few registers, multi-clock instructions (load/store multiple), addressing modes with register updates, not being heavily optimized for pipelining and no explicit zero register are just a few more or less unique features of the original ARM compared to other RISC processors. Making almost every instruction support conditional execution is pretty much u
      • ARM processors are not MIPS architecture. The latter still exists and has little in common with ARM other than both being RISC.

    • Re:I love ARM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @08:57AM (#46133307)

      I love that ARM didn't initially go head to head with Intel and thus ended up not getting crushed by them (think transmeta/AMD).

      Actually, they did start out (as Acorn) by going head-to-head with Intel. Others have mentioned Acorn but not really pointed out that the original 1987 ARM was a credible competitor to the 80286 and 68000 []. (By "credible competitor" I mean "left the 68k and 286 choking on its dust"). It was only ever really used in that way in the Acorn Archemedes [] and RiscPC [] which never made it big outside of the UK - although it outlived most of the other non-Wintel personal computers.

      OK - when ARM was spun off they did, as you say, rather sensibly, end up going after the embedded market, but ARM might never have happened if Acorn had gone with the 80286 [] for their BBC Micro successor.

    • They did go head-to-head, just not on the PC.

  • SRAM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    efficient SRAM would be a bigger deal. DRAM is holding us back right now.

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:16AM (#46133081)

    Soon to be seen in Kindles and Nooks

  • by jcr ( 53032 )

    The article mentions the feature size and its temperature tolerance, but I'm not seeing anything about performance. Anyone here know?


  • bahahahh (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    gotta love you ARM fanboys, as misguided as you are.

    ARM's days are numbered. It can try to come up with whatever hacks it wants, but in the end, they can't beat physics. And if anyone understands that, it's Intel. MIPS won't change that. So prepare to watch ARM flail around while it loses significant market share to Intel over the next year.

    As for Nvidia... they love to overhype and underdeliver in hopes people will just settle for what they're offered. Nvidia will partake in the same woes as ARM over the n

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by crutchy ( 1949900 )

      yeah and linux is just a fad!

      microsoft ftw! :-)

      The only winner in this game is Intel.

      might want to google "china"

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wow, I had a good laugh at your misguided fanboism.

      Even if ARM stopped making any chip technology to be used in computers, tablets and smartphones they would still be the leader in the chips in all those other devices you rely on in your daily life.

      Pull your head out and you'll see that ARM is everywhere. Are they the best? Not always, but they are often the best for what they are used for.

      • That's like saying Windows is the best for what it is used for because it has a large market share. ARM is prevalent in mobile devices because when smartphones and tablets started to rise in popularity Intel at the time had no low power option to use as their answer to ARM. I'm not so sure ARMs 'days are numbered,' I'm just pointing out that numbers does not necessarily mean ARM is the best at what they are used for anymore. Intel has closed a great deal of ground in that regard.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ARM is the most sold processor architecture on the planet.
      Every modern car has like 20 to 100 ARM cores build in, and - if at all - (for the radio) a single Intel procesor.
      iPhones, iPads and plenty of other mobile devices run on: ARM.
      Claiming that Intel makes the long run is just nonsense. And if Intel is not sooner or later abandoning the stupid x86 architecture altogether they will go where Microsoft is going or where MIPS already went.

      • MIPS were pretty popular in ECU's, so were 6502 and 68k. With the speed at which the auto industry moves, they probably still are.

      • i disagree about arm's days being numbered and all that, but in all fairness a lot of embedded applications are likely also powered by traditional microcontrollers supplied by freescale (motorola), atmel, st micro, ti, pic, etc.

    • Intel has good technology ... but everyone is going to be a loser in the coming years and Intel is becoming a tempting target for a leveraged buyout, which might well destroy them as an IDM.

    • MIPS [] and ARM [] are different architectures.

  • a non-volatile memory that could scale down to 5nm?

    Why 5nm is significant? Is it something to do with die shrink? []

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Probably near the distance where quantum tunneling becomes an issue. When your design requires a layer of insulation and electrons can pass through it, then your design breaks.
  • The fact that ARM is doing such theoretical research and trying to turn it into practical applications is excellent. However, they might want to consider investigating the use of this memory in non-CMOS applications, particularly for sensors. Nobody is going to make a 5nm bulk CMOS node - we've hit the Last Node at 14nm.
    • 10nm is coming next year... 7nm in 2017. 5nm may be a few years after that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except that 16/14nm isn't much more logic dense than 22/20nm. Now we keep making the minimum feature size smaller, but the gate length is about the same size (e.g, FinFet). Of course types of circuits scale better than others (e.g. rams), but one of the reasons to not scale down is that power wall (it's currently better to have larger devices to minimize static current leakage than have minimum sized devices and melt the silicon as soon as you turn it on).

        At 10nm, quantum tunnelling is a significant imped

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