- UltraRAM combines the non-volatility of data storage with the speed of RAM.
- It can also significantly increase the life of batteries in smartphones.
- The technology is in the testing phase. Its first prototypes have already been built.
Earlier this month, scientists from the Department of Physics at the University of Lancaster (UK) published their latest work. They described the revolutionary design of the memory medium called UltraRAM ?? there are also the first prototypes ?? and the progress made in the approximation of the start of its mass production. So what makes UltraRAM different?
[ ] Combines non-volatility of data storage memory ?? how flash memory ?? with the speed, energy efficiency and durability of RAM.
The UltraRAM concept. ?? Source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com.
UltraRAM eliminates the need to traverse data between the CPU, dynamic memory, and device mass memory. It would probably save us precious milliseconds, and thus ?? it would increase the efficiency of the entire configuration in relation to the currently used solutions.
The materials from which UltraRAM is made can be found in LED lighting, lasers, photodiodes and phototransistors. Scientists have recently based the design of UltraRAM on silicon wafers, which they can be up to a thousand times cheaper than their gallium arsenide counterparts. Thus, the original memory of scientists from Lancaster may be a solution beneficial for clients’ portfolios.
Characteristics of materials. ?? Source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com.
The tested prototypes allowed to store the data stored on them for up to a thousand years and guaranteed 10 million write and erase cycles without visible file degradation. Additionally, UltraRAM technology uses the quantum-mechanical resonance tunneling effect to allow the potential barrier to change from being opaque to transparent when a voltage is applied.
This process means ?? speaking humanly ?? much lower energy consumption compared to the current solutions which may significantly affect, inter alia, for increased battery life in smartphones. Additionally, it allows for the creation of very compact architectures with high bit-densities, which in theory should encourage manufacturers to cram more memory onto a single UltraRAM chip.
Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Memory) and Western Digital are also trying to reduce the speed gap between SSDs and RAM using XL-FLASH technology. Samsung has patented the Z-NAND technique ?? significantly reducing SSD lag ?? behind?? Intel offers additional Optane memory, increasing the performance of computers with classic disk drives.
However, none of the ideas above is as advanced as UltraRAM. This still requires a lot of polish, but what has just been presented is probably enough to attract the interest of technology companies. Especially if UltraRAM can really be that fast ?? if not faster ?? like traditional RAM memory. Who knows, maybe this is what the future of data carriers looks like?
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