Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



CHIP TECH
Iridium Memories

illustration only
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 17, 2010
One of the rarest metals on Earth may be an excellent option for enabling future flash memory chips to continue to increase in speed and density, according to a group of researchers in Taiwan.

"Incorporating nanocrystals of iridium into the critical floating gate portion of flash memory designs shows both excellent memory properties as well as stability in the high temperatures used in processing such semiconductor devices," says the research team leader, Wen-Shou Tseng of Taiwan's Center for Measurement Standards, Industrial Technology Research Institute.

The research results appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters, which is published by the American Institute of Physics. His colleagues included students and professor at the nearby National Chiao Tung University and Chung Hua University.

This team chose iridium - a hard, dense and corrosion-resistant metal in the platinum family that is one of the rarest metals found in the earth's crust - because unlike most alternatives, it has two desired properties: Iridium holds its electrons strongly (it has a high "work function", which is well-known to correlate with excellent memory properties), and its melting point of nearly 2,500 degrees Celcius is well beyond the 900 C annealing temperature that many chips must survive during manufacturing. Fortunately only a billionth of a billionth of a gram of iridium would be needed for each gate.

Researchers worldwide are investigating new ways to improve the popular flash memory, which is the nonvolatile memory chip design used in virtually all digital cameras and mobile electronics and, increasingly, in solid-state drives for laptop computers.

The easiest way for future flash memories to hold more data and read/write faster, is to shrink the dimensions of the existing chip design, including the floating gate. But today's gate design has already progressed to the point where it cannot get much smaller before it can no longer retain the electrical charges that actually store the data.

Nanocrystals have been proposed as a rather simple change that can improve memory chip performance without changing the tried-and-true floating-gate design.

In recent years, many different metals have been investigated for their nanocrystal potential. Nickel and tungsten, for example, are attractive for, respectively, a high work function and thermal stability. But they and other elements lack both needed properties. It is rare, indeed, that iridium has both needed qualities, Tseng says.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
American Institute of Physics
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


CHIP TECH
Making Wafers Faster By Making Features Smaller
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 17, 2010
The manufacturing of semiconductor wafers used in all types of electronics involves etching small features onto a wafer with lasers, a process that is ultimately limited by the wavelength of the light itself. The semiconductor industry is rapidly approaching this fundamental limit for increasing the speed of the microchip. The development of a new intense 13.5-nm (extreme ultraviolet or EU ... read more







CHIP TECH
Physicist Developing And Improving Designer optical Materials

Japan's Sharp to build LCD lines for smartphones: report

Endeavor Power Launches Endeavor Metals

Apple to open Mac App Store on January 6

CHIP TECH
Arianespace Will Orbit Sicral 2 Milcomms Satellites

Codan Receives JITC Certification For 2110 HF Manpack

Northrop Grumman Bids for Marine Corps Common Aviation CnC

DSP Satellite System Celebrates 40 Years

CHIP TECH
The Flight Of The Dragon

ISRO To Launch New Satellite On December 20

SpaceX Dragon Does Two Orbits Before Pacific Splashdown

NASA, SpaceX giddy over historic orbit launch

CHIP TECH
Universal Address And GPS Enhanced Google Maps For iPhones

New GeoGroups App Reinvents Geo-Social Experience

NAVTEQ Expands Global R And D Capabilities

Officials Complete GPS Software Upgrade Ahead Of Schedule

CHIP TECH
Britain's axed Harrier jets take final flight

U.K to halve fast-jets by 2020

NASA Research Park To Host World's Largest, Greenest Airship

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific names new chief, eyes China

CHIP TECH
Iridium Memories

Making Wafers Faster By Making Features Smaller

Taiwan scientists claim microchip 'breakthrough'

Rice Physicists Discover Ultrasensitive Microwave Detector

CHIP TECH
Facebook face recognition finds friends in photos

How Hard Are We Pushing The Land

Satellite Data Provide A New Way To Monitor Groundwater In Agricultural Regions

Satellites Pinpoint Drivers Of Urban Heat Islands In The Northeast

CHIP TECH
New Catalysts Hold Promise For Air Quality

Toxic Toy Crisis Requires Fresh Solutions

Arrests in Greece over disputed waste landfill

US environmentalists sue ExxonMobile over air pollution


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement