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Innovative electrodes allow new computer memory technologies to be compatible with existing circuitry

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Posted January 23, 2014
The computing industry faces constant demands to provide faster access to data and reduce power consumption. As current memory systems cannot meet these demands indefinitely, it is essential to develop entirely new technologies. One strong contender is resistive random access memory (RRAM), which stores binary information by switching a dielectric material between conducting and non-conducting states.

A seamless transition to this new technology requires that RRAM memory cells be compatible with existing electronics, which are usually based on complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS). Now, Xin Peng Wang and co-workers at the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics, Singapore, have designed nickel-based electrodes that can couple RRAM to CMOS systems as well as reduce the current required to switch the RRAM between memory states.

“One of the current most dominant memory systems, NAND flash, is expected to reach the limit of its scalability in 2017 or 2018,” says Wang. “We need to identify emerging non-volatile memory systems with higher densities, to make up the market. Recently, RRAM has attracted lots of attention due to its fast programming and erasing speeds, high endurance and good retention of data.”

Preventing neighboring RRAM cells from interfering with one another requires each cell to contain a selector made from a diode or transistor. Diode selectors have proved difficult to implement, therefore Wang and co-workers aimed to make RRAM stacks that were compatible with CMOS transistors.

Read more at: Phys.org

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