Nantero’s alternative to flash memory has reached its sell-by date
Back in October 2001, a Woburn, Mass., start-up called Nantero said it was going to supplant flash memory chips. Business journalists took note: flash memory was then a US $7.8 billion market, and it was growing fast. Even more alluring, Nantero’s technology, based on carbon nanotubes, seemed to be the opening salvo in the nanotechnology revolution those journalists had been promising their readers for years.
Nantero called its prospective product the NRAM, the N standing for “Nanotube-based/Nonvolatile.” The company’s publicity people painted a picture of a computer freed from its last moving part—the hard drive—and thus capable of booting up instantly and surviving hard knocks.