Sony plans 16Gb ReRAM chips in 2015

During Flash Memory Summit 2013, Sony delivered a lecture on ReRAM (resistive random-access memory) - a technology Sony has been developing together with Micron. Sony hopes to start producing 16Gb ReRAM chips by 2015 (20nm) for the storage-class memory (SCM) market (SCM fills the performance gap between DRAM and NAND).

Sony says they chose ReRAM as its SCM because its memory cell can be made using advanced process technologies and a cross-point cell array can be used for it, making it easy to increase memory density.

Markets&Markets: the global next-gen memory market will only reach $90 million in 2017

Markets and Markets is set to release a new report next month (Global Next-Gen memory market 2012-2017) in which they predict that the total market for new kinds of memory technologies will only reach $90.74 million by 2017 - a CAGR of 7.3% from 2012.

The report details several technology types, including MRAM, PCRAM, Ferroelectric RAM and Memristors. Of the next generation technologies, MRAM, in 2017, will be biggest market followed by FeRAM, PCRAM & Memristors.

Micron starts mass production of 45nm 1Gb PCM chips

Micron announced that it is now mas-producing 45-nanometer Phase Change Memory (PCM) for mobile devices, featuring 1-gigabit (Gb) PCM plus 512-megabit (Mb) LPDDR2 in a multichip package. This is the first time that PCM memory is available in volume production.

The 45nm PCM is targeted for feature phones, with a future roadmap aimed at addressing smartphones and media tablets.

Flexible RRAM on plastic developed at KAIST

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed new flexible non-volatile resistive random access memory (RRAM) on plastic. The team used memristors integrated with high-performance single-crystal silicon transistors.

This is the first time such a flexible memory is achieved. Bending memory cells causes cell-to-cell interference. To solve this problem, you have to integrate transistors. But most transistors built on plastic substrates (organic/oxide transistors) are not capable of achieving the sufficient performance level with which to drive conventional memory. The new single-crystal silicon transistors used by KAIST solve this issue.

HP and Hynix to launch flash-replacement Memristor products in 2013

HP says that their two terminal memristor (Resistive RAM) technology will be launched in 18 months - and will "start to take market share from flash memory". The company has 'big plans' for the new memory technology and are working with Hynix to launch the flash replacement chip in 2013. The company also plans to go after the DRAM market in 2014/2015 and later the SRAM market as well.

HP has over 500 patents on this technology alone - but it isn't the only company working on memristor devices - in fact Samsung has an even bigger team working on a similar project.

New discovery paves the way towards Graphene based nonvolatile memory

Researchers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and the National University of Singapore have developed an improved design for a Graphene based field-effect transistor (FET). The new device includes an additional silicon dioxide (SiO2) dielectric gate below the graphene layer. This allows for simplified bit writing by providing an additional background source of charge carriers and paves the way towards nonvolatile Graphene-based memory.

Improved graphene–ferroelectric FET with SiO2 basal layer illustration

IBM report advances in racetrack memory research

IBM reports some advances in their racetrack memory program, and they are now able to measure the movement and processing of data as a magnetic pattern on a nanowire (which is 1,000 finer than a human hair).

Racetrack memory uses electron spin to move data on nanowires at hundreds of miles per hour... IBM is not commercializing it yet, but racetrack memory has the potential to be very lower-power and high-density.

Elpida and Sharp to co-develop ReRAM, launch products in 2013

Elpida Memory and Sharp announced that they will co-develop ReRAM memory, which will be commercialized in 2013. ReRAM (resistive random access memory) uses less power and can write data 10,000 faster than NAND flash. When on standby mode, it uses almost no power at all.

This collaboration will also include other Japanese companies and institutes, including the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the University of Tokyo.

Scientists created a plastic memory device that uses electron spin to read/write data

Scientists from Ohio University has created a new spintronics memory device from plastic. It’s simply a thin strip of dark blue organic-based magnet layered with a metallic ferromagnet and connected to two electrical leads. Still, the researchers successfully recorded data on it and retrieved the data by controlling the spins of the electrons with a magnetic field. They say that the new device is a bridge between today’s computers and the all-polymer, spintronic computers that the researchers hope to eventually create.

PNNL Plastic spintronics memory image

Researches design new frequency-controlled magnetic vortex memory

Researchers have designed a new kind of magnetic memory called frequency-controlled magnetic vortex memory. It takes advantage of magnetic vortices' ability to store binary information as positive or negative core polarities, which can be controlled by simply changing the frequency of the rotating vortex cores of the nanodots.

The concept of using magnetic nano-objects to store information for magnetic-RAM is already known, but it’s been difficult to find a mechanism to reverse the magnetization inside individual nano-objects. The researchers achieved this reversal by using microwave pulses in combination with a static magnetic field. In this scheme, large and small rotating core frequencies are associated with positive and negative core polarities, respectively. In a positive core polarity, the core is parallel to the applied magnetic field, while in a negative core polarity, the core is antiparallel to the applied magnetic field. An extremely sensitive magnetic resonance force microscope (MRFM) is used to address the resonant frequency of magnetic nanodots’ vortex core rotations, allowing the researchers to control the polarity states of individual nanodots.