Feeds

US boffins develop molecular memory

Farewell, DRAM?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

That 512MB of SDRAM still not enough for your Windows 2000 installation? A research team from Yale and Rice universities reckons it has the answer: molecule-sized memory cells.

In a paper to be presented at the International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington DC next month, the team claims to have created a single-bit memory cell not from standard silicon but from an organic molecule.

"We've demonstrated a memory element the size of a single molecule," said team leader Mark Reed, Harold Hodgkinson professor of engineering and applied science at Yale. "The fabrication of the molecular memory was done using a method called 'self-assembly,' which has the potential to dramatically reduce cost."

Such a technology would also allow system memory to be expanded way beyond current capacities for comparable cost. Another benefit, the paper suggests, is a degree of non-volatility: the molecular memory can hold its data for roughly one million times longer than a standard DRAM cell.

But while the Yale/Rice team has figured out how to build a molecular memory cell, more work will be necessary to allow computer systems to use it.

"With the single molecule memory, all a general-purpose ultimate molecular computer now needs is a reversible single molecule switch," said Reed. "I anticipate we will see a demonstration of one very soon."

And there lies the rub: a demo may come soon, but the team believe real products based on the technology are at least three to five years away.

In the meantime, other researchers are working equally hard to come up the with next-generation, post-silicon memory technology. Earlier this year, we reported on work carried out at the UK's Keele University, which promised to provide 2300GB of storage in a space no bigger than a PC Card module -- for around $35 a part. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.