'ReRAM': a computer chip that could keep your phone charged for weeks

Californian start-up Crossbar unveil new memory chip 20 times faster and using 20 times less energy than current tech

The world has already made its mind up about the future of technology and decided that on the whole, we quite like our mobile devices. This move has been great for a number of reasons but smartphones and tablets are still dogged by simple problems: low battery life and relatively small memory. Cloud services may help with the latter problem, streaming music and video to our devices, but that just becomes a drain on data. Plus, some of us like to own a copy of our CDs (either if that copy is just 1s and 0s).

Now, a Californian-based start-up may have the answer, with a breakthrough in a new type of memory chip known as Resistive RAM (ReRAM or RRAM for short). Capable of of storing a terabyte of data (equivalent to 250 high-definition movies) on a chip the size of a postage stamp, and using 20 times less energy than current flash memory chips, ReRAM could offer next-gen smartphones with terabytes of onboard data that go weeks without a charge.

The company is called Crossbar, and though they're not the only manufacturers working ReRAM memory (Pansonic and HP are amongst their competitors), they have announced that their models have already been succesfully manufacturered, meaning that commercialization is hopefully not too many years off.

ReRAM is a new type of non-volatile memory (meaning it stores data even when it’s not being powered) that is twenty times faster than the fastest current flash memory. Crossbars says that it can write data to its chips at 140 megabytes a second, compared to 7 megabytes a second for flash.

“Non-volatile memory is ubiquitous today, as the storage technology at the heart of the over a trillion dollar electronics market – from tablets and USB sticks to enterprise storage systems,” said chief executive officer George Minassian in an official statement.

“With our working Crossbar array, we have achieved all the major technical milestones that prove our RRAM technology is easy to manufacture and ready for commercialization.”

 Crossbar’s confidence in its product has so far been matched by investors, with the company raising $25 million in venture capital. These backers include the prestigious Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who invested heavily in both Google and Amazon before the companies became multi-billion success stories.

The company plans to create its own chips and sell them to the market but will also licence its technology to other vendors. Although it will take a lot of momentum to replace the current flash memory standards, the chips would offer significant increases in memory – putting terabytes of storage on smartphones and tablets.

The new ReRAM technology could also prove useful for the internet of things and wearable technology, as it uses twenty times less power and has ten times the endurance of current NAND flash chips. Despite this though, Crossbar are currently only working on small chip implementations (microcontrollers and the like) and the possibility of finding ReRAM in your mobile probably won't arrive before 2016.

 

 

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

    £27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Customer Support Technician

    £15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Waterlooville based softwa...

    Ashdown Group: C# Developer - (C#, VB.Net, SQL, Git, TDD)

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Executive - OTE £30,000

    £16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Salary: £16k - £20k Dependant o...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot