Graphene Memory Arrays Are Stackable, Awesome
Graphene memory arrays in three dimensions may be possible, according to research performed at Rice University. It turns out that a tiny jolt of electricity can 'break' a strip of graphene just ten atoms thick; another jolt restores it to normal. This kind of graphene 'switch' could revolutionize data storage, making it possible to store more data in less space with less energy.
(Are graphene memory sheets possible?)
Graphene memory arrays could increase the quantity of storage in a two-dimensional array by a factor of five. Individual bits would be smaller than 10 nanometers, much smaller than the ponderous 45-nanometer circuitry in use in flash memory today. Also, the new switches could be controlled by two terminals instead of three.
Two switches is a key advance; this makes three-dimensional memory practical. Also, a graphene memory bit is essentially a mechanical device; it would consume virtually no power while keeping data intact.
What distinguishes graphene from other next-generation memories is the on-off power ratio -- the amount of juice a circuit holds when it’s on, as opposed to off. “It’s huge -- a million-to-one,” said James Tour, Rice’s Chao Professor of Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science. “Phase-change memory, the other thing the industry is considering, runs at 10-to-1. That means the ‘off’ state holds, say, one-tenth the amount of current than the ‘on’ state.”
Electrical current tends to leak from an “off” that’s holding a charge. “That means in a 10-by-10 grid, 10 ‘offs’ would leak enough to look like they were ‘on.’ With our method, it would take a million ‘offs’ in a line to look like ‘on,’’ he said. “So this is big. It allows us to make a much larger array.”
And, in the It Just Keeps Getting Better And Better department, Tour says that graphene 'switches' are significantly faster in operation, have a longer operating lifetime, and work well from minus 75 degrees to more than 200 degrees Celcius.
SF fans may recall the Schrön Loop memory storage device, from Dan Simmons 1991 novel Hyperion; it had somewhat greater capacity (and could be implanted in a person):
"A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres in a Schrön loop." (More)
From James Tour’s graphene device may make massive storage practical.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/22/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' - Barbara Humbly, 1982.
Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.
DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...' - Dan Simmons, 1989.
Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...' - Robert Heinlein, 1973.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.
Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'
Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!
Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'
Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?
Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'
BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'
AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'
Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'
Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'
Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'
Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'
Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'
Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'
CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories