North Carolina State University researchers have developed a single "universal" memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory. So far the researchers have only built the gate structures and are currently doing cycling testing to make sure that the technology does not suffer from excessive fatigue. If all goes well, the next step will be to fabricate real chips sometime next year.
The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor (FET), should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say.
"Memories made using our new double floating-gate structure should be about as fast as DRAM—and will need to be refreshed as often—but their densities will be about the same as flash," said EE professor Paul Franzon at NC State.