Feeds

Intel invests in plastic memory – again

Doubles its stake in 'Flash killer' Polymer RAM producer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intel has renewed its investment in Norway-based Opticom ASA's programme to develop a possible successor to Flash memory made out of... er... plastic.

Intel already owns a six per cent stake in Opticom's Thin Film Electronics operation. This week it increased that stake to 13 per cent in exchange for $7.85 million.

Intel is essentially bank-rolling Opticom's development efforts. Its additional stake grants it rights to bring Opticom's polymer memory technology to market.

If, of course, Opticom can make it work as a commercial product. If it can, the technology could deliver non-volatile memory that reads back data at ten times the speed Flash memory does.

Opticom has been working on polymer memory for some time - Intel came into the picture in November 1999. The new round of funding will allow Opticom to build a prototype device, so don't expect polymer memory to start replacing Flash any time soon.

Opticom portrays Polymer RAM as not only high speed, but low cost and - importantly - low power. It will also be smaller, the company claims: "For a 1Gb memory this means that while traditional silicon-based memories require 1.5-6.5 billion transistors, the polymer memory only needs 0.5 million transistors."

And: "In the polymer case the transfer speed is a function of a multi-layered parallelism, allowing optimal segmentation and high speed parallel read-out. The data transfer speeds that can be attained are not limited by the technology itself, but rather by I/O restrictions. As a result of this, the word length can be extended from the existing 64 and 128-bit architectures to words of thousands and even millions of bits."

Production should be simple: Opticom envisions punching out polymer RAM cores like tickertape, with polymer memory chips costing less than five per cent of what it costs to make Flash.

It all sounds great. But it's easy for the company to make these claims - much harder to deliver. ®

Related Link

Thin Film Electronics' homepage

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.