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Baverstam Newsletter Summary: Volume 14, Issue 4

Materials for Computer Memory and Data Storage

For the past forty years, dimensional scaling of these transistors increased performance, reduced footprint, lowered operating voltage (i.e. lowered power consumption), and cut costs. By most accounts, however, the era of such diverse benefits to reduced transistor size is coming to an end. While most experts believe that cost effective scaling will come to an end by 2020, for some memory devices, namely Flash and Static Random access memory, we are already at the point of diminishing returns, and the search for an alternative is in full swing. Alternative memory devices, at least for niche applications, are already in production. As a result the field of NVM is active worldwide with many established and startup firms, as well research institutions participating. NVM is also one of the few areas of semiconductor technology that continue to consistently attract venture capital. While all established semiconductors and memory manufacturers are active in this field, most breakthroughs come from startups, a good majority of these are spin off of major universities. Larger enterprises have acquired, partnered with, and licensed technologies from these startups over the past 5 years. Fundamentally, materials play a crucial role in realization of these alternatives, as well as in extending the life of current technologies. These new materials and their dependent memory devices will not only play a pivotal role in our data intensive economy, but can potentially be modified for use as logic devices, paving the way for a new “post silicon “era. In this newsletter, we concentrate on the latest developments in materials enabling the future of memory and data storage

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