New “quasi-non-volatile” memory will take its place between volatile and non-volatile memory.
Researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai (China) have used two-dimensional materials and traditional technologies to create new gate design for transistors – this is stated in article published in Nature journal. Memory devices developed based on such processes will be free from disadvantages of static random access memory (SRAM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and will combine almost all advantages of both. New memory type was named “quasi-non-volatile memory”
As is known, non-volatile memory devices based on transistors use MOS transistors with floating gates, first developed in 1967. This is good by everything except for one thing – writing/erasing speed of a floating gate transistor, which is around one millisecond, prohibiting its use for computer solutions, where a high writing speed is needed.
Currently, developers are getting more interested in microelectronic devices creation technology based on semi-floating gate (SFG) transistors. Unlike usual field transistor, SFG-transistor “remembers” the applied voltage from the gate. Therefore, SFG-memory, developed by Chinese researchers, is not so demanding of refresh time. DRAM memory shall be updated every 64 milliseconds in order to save the data, but newly developed memory is able to store data, while refreshing every 10 seconds (for this very reason it has been termed “quasi-non-volatile”). Writing operations of SFG-memory lasts 15 nanoseconds, which is comparable to the speed of DRAM-memory (10 nanoseconds). Spectacular performance results of 2D-memory allow SFG-solutions to dramatically reduce energy costs and to show excellent speed characteristics.
But at this point in time, the main task of the group of researchers is to develop technology for the large-scale manufacturing of boards having quasi-non-volatile memory. If this can be achieved, technology will be implemented in various memory devices for the solutions that need low power consumption, but deliver high performance.