‚??In using readily available materials, we‚??ve provided a way for this memory to be made at essentially zero extra cost, because the materials you need are already used in the chips ‚?? all you have to do is mix them in a slightly different way,‚?Ě says Michael Kozicki, director of CANi.
The research was conducted in collaboration with Research Center J√Ćlich in Germany. It was published in the October 2007 issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices in the article ‚??Bipolar and Unipolar Resistive Switching in Cu-doped SiO2.‚?Ě The team included Christina Schindler, on loan from Germany to CANi, Sarath Chandran Puthen Thermadam of CANi, Kozicki, and Rainer Waser of the Institute for Solid State Research and Center for Nanoelectronics Systems and Information Technology in J√Ćlich.
For some time now, conventional computer memory has been heading toward a crunch ‚?? a physical limit of how much storage can be crammed into a given space. Traditional electronics begins to break down at the nanoscale ‚?? the scale of individual molecules ‚?? because pushing electronics closer together creates more heat and greater power dissipation. As consumer electronics such as MP3 players and digital cameras shrink, the need for more memory in a smaller space grows.
Researchers have been approaching the problem from two directions, either trying to leapfrog to the next generation of memory, or refining current memory. CANi took both approaches, amping up performance via special materials while also switching from charge-based storage to resistance-based storage.
‚??We‚??ve developed a new type of old memory, but really it is the perfect memory for what‚??s going to be required in future generations,‚?Ě Kozicki says. ‚??It‚??s very low-energy. You can scale it down to the nanoscale. You can pack a lot of it into a small space.‚?Ě