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Moving Atoms for Energy-Efficient Data Storage

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  • UserDr Markus Hellenbrand (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge)
  • ClockSunday 14 March 2021, 17:05-17:30
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Miroslava Novoveska.

Annual TCSS Symposium 2021

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It is estimated that by 2030, internet and communication technologies (ICTs) will consume up to 20% of total global energy and a large part of this is due to limitations in current technologies of computer memory. Here, I will present approaches new forms of computer memory to reduce global ICT energy consumption by manipulating materials at the atomic level. Current memory technologies are either fast, but volatile (i.e. the information is lost when the power is switched off), or they are non-volatile, but slow. This creates a bottleneck between processing data and storing it, which in turn reduces the efficiency of computers. New classes of so-called resistive memory can overcome these limitations and form fast, non-volatile, and energy-efficient memory cells. In current fast memory, information is stored in the amount of charge in a cell. This charge leaks away over time, which induces the volatility of the memory. In resistive memory cells, the information is encoded in the resistance, instead, which does not leak away. The manipulation of the resistance – and thus the stored information – is achieved by moving individual atoms, and can be achieved very fast and with a very low energy consumption. Here, I will present a short overview of some of these emerging resistive memory technologies with a focus on our research in Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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