Nantero has been developing NRAM (carbon nanotube based memory) for a long time, and now they collaborated with researchers from Chuo University to show how this memory features high-speed, low-power-consumption and high-reliability operation.

An NRAM memory cell is made from a thin CNT film sandwiched between two metal electrodes. When voltage is applied, the CNTs come closer to each other (due to electrostatic force and intermolecular force) and the resistivity is lowered. When the voltage drops to zero, the CNTs do not separate as they are tightly attached. This creates a non-volatile memory. To seperate the CNTs, a phonon is generatd using a high voltage.

The researcher verified the NRAM using 140nm memory cells. These cells showed a write time of 20ns using a current value lower than 20?A. These cells are very reliable - about 10 million times more reliable than flash memory. Reducing the memory cell to 10nm will allow the creation of gigabit-class memory.