Korean researchers report creation of faster, more resilient ReRam

Jul 20, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Korean researchers working out of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology report in a paper published in Nature Materials, that they've been able to create a non-volatile Resistance RAM (ReRam) chip capable of withstanding a trillion read/write cycles, all with a switching time of just 10ns (about a million times faster than current flash chips), paving the way for a possible upgrade to flash memory cards.

ReRam chips are non-volatile, meaning they can retain stored information in the absence of power and are currently made using a Ta2O5 (tantalum) film, the new chips developed by the Samsung team uses Ta2O5-x/TaO2-x as filaments to create a bi-layer structure, rather than coating the entire surface with the metallic substance.

The authors report in the paper that they believe their chip uses less power than other experimental ReRam chips and should be suitable as a potential replacement for current flash memory devices.

The research is part of the IMEC consortium comprised of some of the biggest names in chip research; in addition to Samsung, other participants include Intel, Panasonic, NVIDIA and many others. The ultimate goal is to seek out new frontiers in the advancement of nano-electronics.

Resistive is based on the idea of a , which is a substance that is normally insulating, but when jolted with sufficient power, becomes a . It’s this property that allows information to get in and then to be held inside after the power is removed; sort of like pushing an object through a rubber gasket, it takes force to get both in and out. To use the substance in a memory chip, a path must be maintained though it in both directions and that is what the metallic filaments are for, to carry signals through the dielectric substance. The filaments are then gated, which means the path through can be broken and unbroken to allow current to pass through or not. In this new research, many , or paths, are created to increase the amount of information that can come and go with any one jolt of electricity.

The only down side to the new research is that it appears it won’t be ready to go to market for a while, as more research is needed. In the meantime, we’ll all just have to be careful with how much reading and writing we do with our flash drives.

Explore further: Renesas announces SRAM using leading-edge 16 nm FinFET for automotive information systems

More information: A fast, high-endurance and scalable non-volatile memory device made from asymmetric Ta2O5−x/TaO2−x bilayer structures, Nature Materials (2011) doi:10.1038/nmat3070

Abstract
Numerous candidates attempting to replace Si-based flash memory have failed for a variety of reasons over the years. Oxide-based resistance memory and the related memristor have succeeded in surpassing the specifications for a number of device requirements. However, a material or device structure that satisfies high-density, switching-speed, endurance, retention and most importantly power-consumption criteria has yet to be announced. In this work we demonstrate a TaOx-based asymmetric passive switching device with which we were able to localize resistance switching and satisfy all aforementioned requirements. In particular, the reduction of switching current drastically reduces power consumption and results in extreme cycling endurances of over 1012. Along with the 10 ns switching times, this allows for possible applications to the working-memory space as well. Furthermore, by combining two such devices each with an intrinsic Schottky barrier we eliminate any need for a discrete transistor or diode in solving issues of stray leakage current paths in high-density crossbar arrays.

Related Stories

Samsung Develops 2Gb Flash Memory Using 60nm Process

Jun 30, 2006

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it has successfully developed a faster and higher capacity version of the world's fastest memory chip.-- OneNAND ...

Samsung's new flash chips for mobile devices

Jan 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Samsung Electronics has announced two new flash chip storage devices for mobiles: a removable 32-Gbyte micro SD (secure digital) card and a 64-Gbyte moviNAND flash memory module. Both are ...

Remembering the future

Nov 15, 2007

As electronics designers cram more and more components onto each chip, current technologies for making random-access memory (RAM) are running out of room. European researchers have a strong position in a new ...

Recommended for you

As dust clears, what's next for Sony?

6 hours ago

The Sony hacking attack continues to deliver more dramatic plotlines than any fictional movie, but meanwhile the movie studio must move forward and tackle the next steps in minimizing the mess. Will Sony ...

FAA, industry launch drone safety campaign

9 hours ago

Alarmed by increasing encounters between small drones and manned aircraft, drone industry officials said Monday they are teaming up with the government and model aircraft hobbyists to launch a safety campaign.

It's down to the wire for online shopping

9 hours ago

As the holiday shopping season winds down, FedEx, UPS and online retailers are using the last few days to try to avoid the problems that occurred last year when severe winter weather and a surge in late orders ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.