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The combination of RAM and storage

The researchers of the University of Lancaster (United Kingdom), announced the UltraRAM, a unified solution acting as RAM and storage, which is almost ready for mass production, which they describe as a combination of “the non-volatility of data storage memory, such as flash, with the speed, energy efficiency, and endurance of working memory, such as DRAM“.

Some of the benefits of UltraRAM include increased data integrity with a durability of at least 1,000 years, fast switching speed and resistance to program and erase cycles”between a hundred and a thousand times better than flash“, in addition to a performance similar to that of DRAM, being able to adapt to both computers and mobile devices.

“These new results confirm the surprising properties of UltraRAM, allowing us to demonstrate its potential as fast, efficient non-volatile memory with high endurance,” said Manus Hayne, the professor leading the research.

Scientists are currently working to improve the quality, manufacturing process, and scalability of UltraRAM technology. in order to ensure relatively low mass production costs. If this type of memory does hit the market, it will undoubtedly be more expensive than DDR solutions. Its success depends on this premium over traditional memory, and basically in price it would have to be around the same as Intel Optane units to guarantee a gap in the market.

“Tests of manufactured single cell memory devices show great potential, with devices demonstrating a clear memory window during program / erase operations of ≤10 ms, which is remarkably fast for devices 10 and 20 µm in length. The set / erase voltage of ≈2.5v and the device’s low areal capacitance result in switching energy per unit area 100 and 1000 times less than DRAM and flash, respectively.

Extrapolated retention times of over 1,000 years and non-degradation endurance tests of over 107 program and erase cycles demonstrate that these memories are non-volatile and highly durable. Work is currently underway on improving epitaxial quality, fine-tuning the manufacturing process, implementing a normally deactivated channel design, and expanding the devices.”

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