31 Dec '13, 10pm

Chipmakers Push Memory Into the Third Dimension

Chipmakers Push Memory Into the Third Dimension

A 3-D revolution is slowly making its way across the chip industry. Intel set it off in 2011 when it debuted logic chips bearing transistors that pop out of the plane of the chip . This year, memory makers are joining the game with two innovations of their own. If you upgrade your smartphone in 2014, chances are you won’t see either of these technologies inside it. They will appear first in high-performance (and high-margin) processors and solid-state drives. But analysts say it’s only a matter of time before these 3-D memories migrate to consumer gadgets. And that could mean big gains in speed and storage space. One of the 3-D memory movements centers on NAND flash , a memory that’s nonvolatile—that is, it holds on to information even when it’s powered down. This flash memory is already used to store data in smartphones, tablets, and many laptops and is supplanting hard d...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/chipmakers...

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