17 May '12, 8pm

The Quest for a Universal Memory

17 May 2012—Our smartphones and ultrathin laptops rely on a triumvirate of memory technologies—SRAM, DRAM, and flash—each customized for a specific purpose. They’ve all been fabulous workhorses, but now these memories are struggling to keep up with the steady demand for chips that are faster, cheaper, more reliable, and more energy efficient. Industry watchers expect the most-advanced memory makers to hit a wall around 2015. So the question is, What comes next? Will we always be saddled with a complex hierarchy of different kinds of memory? Or is it possible we just might find the memory industry’s version of a cure-all—a single, universal memory format that can provide high-density storage, low-power operation, and unparalleled speed? I’d like to say we have a clear candidate. Sadly, the laws of physics seem to rule against it. None of the 10 or so potential replacement t...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/memory/the-quest-...

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