Resistive RAM Gains Ground

Faith in phase-change memory falters

3 min read
Resistive RAM Gains Ground


Crossbars Coming: One type of RRAM is built as a sandwich of metal oxide and a capping layer between two arrays of electrodes.
Click on image for a larger view.

The search for new memory types that can store more data than the dynamic RAM of computer memory and the floating-gate flash of portable electronics is intensifying. The erstwhile favorite of the memory R&D community, phase-change memory, or PC-RAM, is entering limited commercial production but has run into power issues that could constrain its future. In its wake, the research spotlight is turning to resistive RAM, or RRAM.

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The Ultimate Transistor Timeline

The transistor’s amazing evolution from point contacts to quantum tunnels

1 min read
A chart showing the timeline of when a transistor was invented and when it was commercialized.

Even as the initial sales receipts for the first transistors to hit the market were being tallied up in 1948, the next generation of transistors had already been invented (see “The First Transistor and How it Worked.”) Since then, engineers have reinvented the transistor over and over again, raiding condensed-matter physics for anything that might offer even the possibility of turning a small signal into a larger one.

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