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The World’s Lowest Power Phase-change Memory is Successfully Developed

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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A Huazhong University of Science and Technology team has successfully developed the world’s lowest power phase-change memory. According to a document recently released by the University, the school’s team had built the world’s smallest phase-change memory.

The power consumption phase change memory is a thousand times lower than mainstream products.

Memory performance is particularly important in the era of big data, especially for brain-like computing and edge computing, which demands memory with extremely low power consumption.

Phase-change memory (PCM) is the storage technology that is most compatible with CMOS technology and has the most established technology among the new types of memory.

The Optane three-dimensional phase-change memory chip announced in 2015 by Intel and Micron is a thousand times faster and lasts a thousand times longer than solid-state flash drives, and its three-dimensional stacking technology allows for ten times more storage.

However, because the storage medium must be melted and cooled during the phase change process, the phase change memory’s power consumption is quite high, and heat generation is significant, limiting future storage capacity improvements and significantly increasing production costs.

For erasing and writing, the present state-of-the-art tens of nanometer process single phase-change memory unit consume about 40pJ. Still, the power consumption of a 100-nanometer-sized device created in the lab consumes more than 1000pJ.

The Institute of Information Storage Materials and Devices (ISMD), School of Integrated Circuits, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and the Center for Materials Innovation and Design (CAID) of Xi’an Jiaotong University have developed a reticulated amorphous phase structure to solve the bottleneck problem of high power consumption in phase-change memory.

Variable memory consumes less than 0.05pJ of power, which is a thousand times less than conventional goods. The phase change memory provides the advantages of good consistency and long life in addition to low power consumption.


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