updated 01:35 pm EST, Wed January 23, 2008
Nanochip 100GB Chips
A new form of nanotechnology could result in ultra-high density flash memory in less than two years, its inventor Nanochip has revealed. Instead of a traditional technique used in the NAND memory found in many portable devices, the new process would write and help read data using microscopic cantilevers with raised tips that are less than 10 nanometers across; by pressing a grid of these tips against the actual storage, each bit of data can be held in a space just 15 square nanometers versus the 65 nanometers of most current flash memory. A typical chip die would have many such tips and could write data far faster than current technology, the company says.
The development is expected to result in memory chips with 100 gigabytes of storage each despite using old technology; a 1-micron (1000-nanometer) factory should have the resources to build these chips and will cost just a fraction of the cost of a modern plant, according to the firm. More advanced probes and manufacturing processes could lead to as much as one terabyte of memory on a single chip.
Although the company has only just received funding necessary to produce its first working prototypes by late this year, the company is partly supported by Intel and could have at least 100GB memory chips in production as early as 2009. No companies have immediately said that they will use the technology, though Nanochip notes it uses standard chip packaging that allows it to drop into existing technology for handheld devices and notebooks. [via ZDNet]