Researchers from Taiwan and the University of California, Berkeley, claim to have developed a new memory technology that can exceed the speed of today's mainstream charge-storage memory by up to 100X.
According to a paper published in the current issue of Applied Physics Letters, the device uses non-conducting material that integrates horizontally aligned, non-overlapping silicon nanodots (Si-QD), each of which has a diameter of about 3 nm and represents a single memory bit. The storage function is provided via a metallic layer on top of the nanodot surface that is employed as a metal gate to control the on and off stages of the nanodots.
The published paper claims that the operating voltage of the non-volatile memory device is 7 volts and the program/erase speed of the nanodots is less than 1 μs. The storage process itself uses brief bursts of green laser light to target specific regions of the metal gate layer and reach individual nanodots. The scientists also claim that the "materials and the processes used for the devices are compatible with current main-stream integrated circuit technologies" and "can also be applied to other advanced-structure devices."
There was no information on the capacity of the memory device and a possible production beyond a lab scenario.