New Resistive RAM packs 1 TB of storage into a single chip

By on August 5, 2013, 2:30 PM

Crossbar Inc., a Californian start-up that's relatively unknown in the storage market has unveiled a brand new form of storage technology, which they're calling Resistive RAM (RRAM). The technology allows for very high capacity and high performance non-volatile memory, capable of storing up to 1 TB of data on a 200 sq. mm chip that's smaller than a postage stamp.

Thanks to a three-layer structure, RRAM technology is also stackable and scalable, meaning multiple terabytes of storage can be delivered in the one 3D chip package if multiple chips are stacked atop one another. Crossbar claims these chips will have 20x faster write performance, 20x lower power consumption and 10x more endurance compared to "today's best-in-class NAND flash memory".

The technology is ready to be turned into a product, according to Crossbar's press release, after they produced a working demo product in a commercial fabrication plant which combines both a monolithic CMOS controller and the memory array. The company has been issued over 30 patents related to their RRAM, and they're looking to license it to various companies such as system-on-chip (SoC) designers, as well as producing its own standalone solutions.

Looking at Crossbar's RRAM overview page in-part reveals how the chip works. There are three layers to the chip: a metal top electrode, a silicon-based switching medium and a non-metal bottom electrode. A voltage is applied between the two electrodes, which causes a filament to form in the switching material. This allows for data to be stored in an apparently simple cell structure.

Crossbar didn't specify when this new storage technology is expected to be ready, but at this stage the company is optimizing the technology for implementation in the embedded SoC market.




User Comments: 23

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

This sounds like a game changer to me...less power, less heat, bigger, faster...what have I missed..oh, yeah...cheaper? (hmm, doubt it).

Still, imagine the computing power of the highest end PC strapped to your wrist...just WHAT is all this computing power going to mean?!?!

2 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hoo-boy if this works as advertised and goes mainstream it will be a BIG deal. Note to self: buy stock in Crossbar, Inc.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Interesting... almost sounds too good to be true.

Oh and to the Techspot writer... I think you meant ?m (micrometers), not mm.

200 mm would 2 meters, quite a bit larger than a postage stamp.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Seems the micron character doesn't work here... um would be appropriate then I suppose.

Chazz said:

Hmm, what is the picture of? Is it a stacked RRAM image, random image or a picture of what the concept looks like? I can't seem to see 3 "layers" on that picture.

Guest said:

IAMTHESTIG

2m long that mens tablets are growing soon, we will walking with larger tablets than a person except basketball gamers

TekGun TekGun said:

Interesting... almost sounds too good to be true.

Oh and to the Techspot writer... I think you meant ?m (micrometers), not mm.

200 mm would 2 meters, quite a bit larger than a postage stamp.

Well if you want to be accurate 200mm is only 20 centimetres...

yRaz yRaz said:

Interesting... almost sounds too good to be true.

Oh and to the Techspot writer... I think you meant ?m (micrometers), not mm.

200 mm would 2 meters, quite a bit larger than a postage stamp.

it has a surface area of 200mm^2 which is still smaller than a 250gb SSD. Its about 1.5cmX1.5cm.

Guest said:

200 millimeters is 20 centimeters, not 2 meters. The article said "200 sq mm", which would be approximately 14mm x 14mm. So in fact it is a little smaller than a postage stamp. Actually quite a bit smaller...

gamoniac said:

Interesting... almost sounds too good to be true.

Oh and to the Techspot writer... I think you meant ?m (micrometers), not mm.

200 mm would 2 meters, quite a bit larger than a postage stamp.

Well if you want to be accurate 200mm is only 20 centimetres...

200 sq. mm = 20mm x 10mm (or 2cm x 1cm). 200 sq. mm is smaller than a stamp. The information is correct.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Indeed you are all correct, my bad. Dang, I thought I had him! Muahahaha

*clears throat

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Um, I was messing with Firefox and started the browser in safe mode (hold Shift when launching FF), and I came here to test if the text was still blurry, and their was a Playstation sponsored article that disappeared when I left safe mode.

What's going on....

Update: I go back to safe mode and it's gone now. So weird...

gruesomeA said:

This sounds like a game changer to me...less power, less heat, bigger, faster...what have I missed..oh, yeah...cheaper? (hmm, doubt it).

Still, imagine the computing power of the highest end PC strapped to your wrist...just WHAT is all this computing power going to mean?!?!

It certainly won't be cheaper right away, but if it lives up what it's promising then the price will drop with larger production volumes.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is a game changer.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There are high levels of anticipation, from this PC user!

Guest said:

Now give me a 10TB SSD for 100 dollars!

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hoo-boy if this works as advertised and goes mainstream it will be a BIG deal. Note to self: buy stock in Crossbar, Inc.

Definitely. That's one of the most exciting announcements I've read in a while. Hopefully when they say it's ready for commericalisation they mean that.

Edit: Some figures on this page. The strange thing is the 140MB/s write speed vs. 17MB/s read speed. I wonder if that's an error or this is going to be used mainly for backup purposes.

Edit 2: More information on the white paper. Read speed quoted as "Asynchronous (XIP) Read" and .04MB/sec for NAND, so obviously this new one is much better. My understanding is that NAND can read only blocks, and this speed is the speed measurement of reading one byte. That would definitely make Crossbar's speed much better (and might prevent the need for RAM in small microcontrollers), but I'd still be interested in the large size transfer throughput.

Boilerhog146 Boilerhog146 said:

Interesting... almost sounds too good to be true.

Oh and to the Techspot writer... I think you meant ?m (micrometers), not mm.

200 mm would 2 meters, quite a bit larger than a postage stamp.

20 cm ,xD.

Guest said:

200mm =0.2meter

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Minecraft RAM

DanUK DanUK said:

Read about this earlier, sounds incredible

c1c2c3c4c c1c2c3c4c said:

Minecraft RAM

just think of how outdated consoles will be in under 3 years.

The new consoles will also miss the graphine boost that will likely pop up within the 10y life

Guest said:

200mm is NOT 2m. 1m is 1000mm.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.