World’s Energy Efficient and Smallest Atom-Memory Chip Created
A Large Quantity of Data Could Be Stored In Atom-Sized Devices That Could Help In Various Aspects
The engineers at the University of Texas located in Austin have been successfully able to create the smallest possible device for memory storage across the world. This smallest atom-memory chip is the only energy-efficient microchip that has the capabilities of being smart, smaller, and faster than any other microchip ever produced.
During the procedure to develop the smallest atom-memory chip that could be used in almost every electronic piece of equipment, the engineers were able to figure out the dynamics that unlock the possibility to store a large amount of data in such small containing devices.
Developing the world’s smallest storage chip
According to a recent research study published in Nature Nanotechnology magazine and conducted two years back, the researching team developed the thinnest and smallest device to store data at that time. When compared, this time, the scientific team of researchers was able to accomplish a further reduction in size and consequently developing the smallest atom-memory chip by shrinking the cross-sectional area of the chip resulting in the total size of the smallest atom-memory chip to be just one square nanometer.
The ability to function accordingly to the physics and developing the smallest atom-memory chip that is able to store a large quantity of dense data was due to thoroughly understanding the physics being used in the process. Getting defective or holes in the material used was able to provide the essentials for unlocking the capability for high-density memory storage in the smallest atom-memory chip.
Professor Deji Akinwande from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering said that when an individual additional metal atom is inserted into the minute nanoscale hole and completely fills it, it is able to confer some of its ability to the surrounding conductive material present, which then causes a change in the material or also known as the memory effect.
The material used during the making of the smallest atom-memory chip is molybdenum disulfide, which is also known commercially as MoS2, as the primary nanomaterial in the experimental study. According to the researchers, the results concluded from the study could also be applicable to a large quantity of atomically thin materials.
For the development of small atom-memory chips and components with minute sizes, it’s all about convenience and power. By using small-sized processing chips, the outer side of the smartphone or computer would be kept compact and easily accessible for transport.
The upside for shrinkage of microprocessing chips also includes decreasing the energy demand and increase in the capacity of the chip, which results in a faster and smarter device that requires less power for operation.
Ground-breaking development for data storage
The conclusion which has been obtained from these innovative workings is paving the way for the upcoming future generation applications that would be in direct interest with the United States Department of Defense, like ultra-dense storage capacity, radio-frequency communication system, neuromorphic computing systems, and several other applications, said program manager Pani Varanasi.
The scientific research study has been funded by the United States Army Research Office for the experimental development of the smallest atom-memory chip.
The first original memory chip developed by the scientists named ‘atomristor’ was, at the time of its invention, the smallest data storing device ever made, having the thickness of a single atomic layer. However, the shrinking in the size of a memory storage device is not just about making it much smaller but also making it with a cross-sectional of reduced size.
This new scientific study that resulted in the production of the smallest atom-memory chip has allowed the possibility for development of a device that would be able to control memory storing function by just a single atomic particle.
This device falls under the category of memristors, which has been categorized as a popular area for researches on memory devices, which is centered around electrical components that has the ability to automatically modify resistance between two of its terminals without requiring other third terminal in the middle which acts as a gate.