Noah J Nelson on Friday, Jul. 25th
Researches at Rice University have made a breakthrough in manufacturing resistive random access memory (RRAM), a new form of computer memory. The MIT Technology Review explains what RRAM is:
Like flash memory, RRAM can store data without a constant supply of power. Whereas flash memory stores bits of information in the form of charge in transistors, RRAM stores bits using resistance. Each bit requires less space, increasing the amount of information that can be stored in a given area.
What’s more, it should be easier to stack up layers of RRAM, helping to further increase the amount of information that can be packed onto a single chip. RRAM can also operate a hundred times faster than flash. Some prototypes can store data densely enough to enable a terabyte chip the size of a postage stamp.
While a number of companies have been in the RRAM hunt for years the chips have required extremely high temperatures to make. This is they did until the Rice University researchers figured out a way to make the material at room temperature. Bigger local drives on mobile units would take pressure off cloud servers: why stream something on the fly and deal with unreliable connections when you have a massive amount of storage on a phone?