Block off the old chips: get ready for 32 gigabyte flash memory

Yea, you read that right.A few days ago, I posted an item noting an analyst report identifying IP-enabled mobile devices as "end points" that would stimulate adoption of VoIP.

Yea, you read that right.

A few days ago, I posted an item noting an analyst report identifying IP-enabled mobile devices as "end points" that would stimulate adoption of VoIP.

The smaller and more powerful the chip, the more agile and deft these devices will be.

This weekend brings news that Infineon Technologies of Germany has built the world's tiniest flash memory cell.FinFET (Fin Field Effect Transistor)measures 20 nanometers, which is about 5,000 times thinner than a human hair.

FinFet's secret sauce is not only its vanishingly tiny size, but the way in which it stores electrons. In today's portable devices, flash memory devices can only permanently store around two bits of information per memory cell without a supply voltage. But FinFet has a three-dimensional structure that improves electrostatic control several measures over today's rather inefficient flat transistors.

Yes, I said "inefficient." Even the most advanced of today's chips need around 1,000 electrons to remember one bit. FinFet uses 100 electrons for one bit in one transistor, with another 100 electrons easily available for a second helping of bit.

These numbers tell us that FinFet-enabled devices are able to store these electrons more efficiently. The electrons then carry the information within a nitride layer that is electrically isolated between the silicon fin and the 20-nanometer-wide memory chip's gate electrode.

In two or three years time, such cells would make 32-Gigabit memory chips totally feasible.

And that's one heck of a lot of processing power, especially for mobile device chips and flash memory.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All