updated 11:55 am EST, Mon February 9, 2009
Toshiba 128Mbit FeRAM
Toshiba has started the week by launching what it says is the densest and potentially fastest RAM with the ability to keep data permanently even when power is shut off. A new 128-megabit (16MB) ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) chip holds about four times as much data as Toshiba's previous best and also behaves much more like traditional memory, with about 1.6GB per second of bandwidth versus 200MB from before. The improvements come through a new architecture that prevents the signal to memory cells from degrading as the amount of total storage gets larger.
The technology's power levels have also been changed such that it can work on a DDR2 interface and thus work with more conventional devices. Toshiba suggests the technology would be particularly useful for cellphones, handheld PCs and other devices that could use the non-volatile RAM to quickly start up or resume from their last known state.
The company hasn't said how soon it expects its FeRAM breakthrough to translate to finished products.