Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NEC makes content addressable memory that takes data deposits sans power, RAM green with envy

Wouldn't it be great if system memory was super speedy like RAM and non-volatile like flash? Well, NEC and Tohoku University's new content addressable memory (CAM) has accomplished the trick -- it promises five-nanosecond retrieval speeds equal to sticks of DDR3 1600 and can store data even when the power's off. Spintronics logic is what makes the magic happen by setting the spin direction of electrons and using their interaction with magnetic forces to store bits of data. Those spinning attributes are then kept on the circuit even when there's no electricity flowing. The catch? This new CAM big -- 90nm compared to the 30nm DRAM currently available -- despite the fact it's half the size of previous CAM chips, and NEC's not telling how quickly it can write data. Of course, the tech is still in its developmental stages, so we won't getting its zero-power standby mode and instant-on capabilities in our gadgets for some time. PR after the break.
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