“Think of it as a series of cubes that are 2 to 3 nanometers (nm) on a side,” says R. Stanley Williams, the main Memristor Kanobe at HP Labs. Memory cells are created by connecting two adjacent wires with an electrical switch beneath the surface of the array. By adjusting the voltage applied to the cubes, scientists can open and close tiny electronic switches, storing data like traditional flash memory chips.
The cool thing isn’t that these chips will be able to store double the amount of data (for their size) as current flash drive chips, but that these will be 1000x faster than current chips and will have a lot more integrity: current flash memory can be rewritten 100 000 times, whilst these could last for millions of rewrite cycles.
Stanley Williams believes its possible to stack ReRAM arrays on top of each other, skyscraper style, which could lead to greater improvements in volume and performance as mentioned previously.
“There’s no fundamental limit to the number of layers we can produce,” adds Williams. “We can get to petabit chips within about 10 years.”
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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