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Monday, 17 December 2012 11:28

UCLA researchers come up with new energy efficient memory

Written by Peter Scott

MeRAM is the name


A team of UCLA researchers has come up with a new memory technology, a twist on magnetoresistive RAM, or MRAM.

UCLA calls its new tech magnetoelectric RAM, or MeRAM. MeRAM’s key advantage over existing memory technologies is that it combines very low energy with high density, which translates into high speed. MeRAM is somewhat similar to traditional flash memory, but it’s much faster.

Current magnetic memory is based on spin-transfer torque technology, or STT, and it utilizes an electric current to write data. However, it also comes with some limitations, i.e. it generates a lot of heat, thus limiting density and jacking up costs.

MeRAM uses voltage rather than electric current, so it can operate less power and heat. It is 10 to 1,000 times more energy efficient than existing technologies.

It sounds like a great choice for smartphones and tablets, but when can we expect MeRAM to actually roll out? Well the research paper was presented on December 12 and the technology still has some teething problems, so it could be years before we see it in actual products.

More here.

Peter Scott

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