Hynix Makes No-Capacitor DRAM

Z-RAM memory design might find a spot in the competitive DRAM market

3 min read

A Swiss company, working with memory chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor, has introduced a design that it says will be a cheaper, lower-power replacement for the common computer memory known as dynamic RAM, or DRAM.

Innovative Silicon, in Lausanne, says it has redesigned its zero-capacitor RAM, or Z-RAM, so that it can be built on the same kind of wafers used for ordinary DRAM. This is a big advance for the company, because its previous devices required expensive specialty wafers. Z-RAM, unlike DRAM, doesn’t require a capacitor, so the company estimates that the new design will be 25 to 30 percent cheaper as the critical features of memory drop below 40 nanometers over the next couple of years. What’s more, the Z-RAM cells operate at voltages as low as 0.5 to 0.6 volt, in line with what future DRAM devices will require.

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The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts

In 75 years, it’s become tiny, mighty, ubiquitous, and just plain weird

3 min read
A photo of 3 different transistors.
iStockphoto
LightGreen

The most obvious change in transistor technology in the last 75 years has been just how many we can make. Reducing the size of the device has been a titanic effort and a fantastically successful one, as these charts show. But size isn’t the only feature engineers have been improving.

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