Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new electronic component to replace flash storage

19.10.2015

Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation have created a new electronic component that could replace flash storage. This memristor could also be used one day in new types of computers.

Two IT giants, Intel and HP, have entered a race to produce a commercial version of memristors, a new electronics component that could one day replace flash memory (DRAM) used in USB memory sticks, SD cards and SSD hard drives.


“Basically, memristors require less energy since they work at lower voltages,” explains Jennifer Rupp, professor in the Department of Materials at ETH Zurich and holder of a SNSF professorship grant. “They can be made much smaller than today’s memory modules, and therefore offer much greater density. This means they can store more megabytes of information per square millimetre.” But currently memristors are only at the prototype stage.

Less rigid computing

Along with her chemist colleague Markus Kubicek, Jennifer Rupp has built a memristor based on a slice of perovskite just 5 nanometres thick.(*) And the interesting thing is that she has shown that the component has three stable resistive states. As a result, it can not only store the 0 or 1 of a standard bit, but can also be used for information encoded by three states – the 0, 1 and 2 of a “trit”.

“Our component could therefore also be useful for a new type of IT that is not based on binary logic, but on a logic that provides for information located ‘between’ the 0 and 1,” continues Jennifer Rupp. “This has interesting implications for what is referred to as fuzzy logic, which seeks to incorporate a form of uncertainty into the processing of digital information. You could describe it as less rigid computing.”

Another potential application is neuromorphic computing, which aims to use electronic components to reproduce the way in which neurons in the brain process information. “The properties of a memristor at a given point in time depend on what has happened before,” explains Jennifer Rupp. “This mimics the behaviour of neurons, which only transmit information once a specific activation threshold has been reached.”

Primarily, the researchers at ETH Zurich have characterised in great detail the ways in which the component works by conducting electro-chemical studies. “We were able to identify the carriers of electrical charge and understand their relationship with the three stable states,” explains the researcher. “This is extremely important knowledge for materials science which will be useful in refining the way the storage operates and in improving its efficiency.”

The fourth component

The principle of the memristor was first described in 1971, as the fourth basic component of electronic circuits (alongside resistors, capacitors and inductors). Since the 2000s, researchers have suggested that certain types of resistive memory could act as memristors.

(*) M. Kubicek, R. Schmitt, F. Messerschmitt and J.L.M. Rupp (2015), Uncovering Two Competing Switching Mechanisms for Epitaxial and Ultra-Thin Strontium Titanate-Based Resistive Switching Bits, ACS Nano, doi/10.1021/acsnano.5b02752.
(Available for journalists in PDF from the SNSF: com@snf.ch)

Contact

Professor Jennifer L.M. Rupp
Electrochemical Materials
ETH Zurich
Hönggerbergring 64 (HPP P 21)
8093 Zurich
Tel: +41 44 633 04 51
E-mail: jennifer.rupp@mat.ethz.ch

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.snf.ch/en/researchinFocus/newsroom/Pages/news-151019-press-release-ne...

Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate
17.01.2019 | Purdue University

nachricht Next generation photonic memory devices are light-written, ultrafast and energy efficient
15.01.2019 | Eindhoven University of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>