New, super dense memory chips may arrive soon

Researchers have been working with a new type of memory chip, called resistive random access memory (RRAM) for some time now, but the process of making the memory has been expensive and demanding.  Fabrication of this type of memory has required very high temperatures and voltages, adding to the difficulty of manufacturing and delaying commercial release of the chips.  But now, researchers at Rice University have developed a new method to produce this memory using low voltage.

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Like flash, RRAM can store data without a constant electrical current, but RRAM is hundreds of times faster, and can be layered to provide extremely high density of storage space.  Some prototypes of the memory chips can store a terabyte of data in the space of a postage stamp.

A company called Crossbar is expected to introduce RRAM chips into embedded devices this year.  And a spokesman for the company, Dr. James Tour,  who is involved with the research at Rice University says Crossbar expects to sign a deal with a memory company within weeks.

Terabytes of data in devices as small as smartphones seem to be within reach with this new technology.  Actually getting this to market will be the real challenge.  We hear of many promising developments in technology, only to have them fade from view and disappear with no actual products reaching the public.

You can read more on the story at MIT Technology Review.