Home Energy “Quasi-Non-Volatile” Memory Looks to Fill Gap Between Volatile and Non-Volatile Memory

“Quasi-Non-Volatile” Memory Looks to Fill Gap Between Volatile and Non-Volatile Memory

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Image: School of Microelectronics, Fudan University
This schematic shows the design for a new semi-floating gate memory.

Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China have leveraged two-dimensional (2D) materials to fabricate a relatively new gate design for transistors that may fill the gap between volatile and non-volatile memory.

The result is what the researchers are dubbing a “quasi-non-volatile” device that combines the benefits of static random access memory (SRAM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM). The new device will make up for DRAM’s limited data retention ability and its need to be frequently refreshed and SRAM’s high cost.

In research described in Nature Nanotechnology, the Chinese researchers leveraged a gate design that has been gaining popularity, recently called semi-floating gate (SFG) memory technology. The SFG gate design is similar to a typical field effect transistor except that SFG transistor can “remember” the applied voltage from the gate.

The researchers have shown that the 2D SFG memory they have fabricated has 156 times longer refresh time (10 seconds) than DRAM (64 milliseconds), which saves power, and ultrahigh-speed writing operations on nanosecond timescales (15 nanoseconds), which puts it on par with DRAM (10 nanoseconds). This new device also boosts the writing operation performance to approximately 106 times faster than other memories based on 2D materials.