Phase Change and enhanced Computer Memory

22 June 2012

Computers work on binary language that is represented by codes of 0s & 1s and memory devices requires large collection of these components that switches between states. Now researchers are working on new generation memory chips that are to be based on new materials and where the atoms can switch between these phases by rearranging themselves.

Before going further, it is necessary to understand the mechanism of phase change and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now provided some insights into how the phase change occurs. The research were jointly carried out by Ritesh Agarwal, Associate Professor, Deptt of Materials Science & Engineering, Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science , A.T. Charlie Johnson, Professor Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Arts and Sciences and Ju, Li, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the research findings was published in the Journal Science.

Actually both types of memories i.e. volatile and non-volatile have the limitations and advantages and for volatile memory, the speed is quite fast, however in case of non-volatile memories, the operation speed is quite low and researchers since long are working on a memory device that is non-volatile and has higher speed with scalability.

PCM or phase change materials are ideal for such type of universal memories and are now also being offered commercially. These PCMs have atoms in ordered lattice in the crystalline phase and atomic arrangement becomes disordered in amorphous phase and in these two phases the electrical resistance for current is at different levels and that’s why these are best options for building memory storage devices.

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One Response to “Phase Change and enhanced Computer Memory”

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