Researchers invent new type of computer memory with ultra-low power consumption

Scientists at Lancaster University have secured a US patent that has been under research for a decade.

Scientists at Lancaster University in the UK have invented a new type of computer memory. It is said that this memory will be the key to solving the high digital technology energy demands.

Representational image. Image: Pixabay.

Representational image. Image: Pixabay.

As reported by Science Daily, by 2025, there’s going to be a ‘tsunami of data’ with the increase in the number of computers and gadgets. They will end up consuming about a fifth of global electricity.

In order to achieve this, the researchers used “quantum mechanics to solve the dilemma of choosing between stable, long-term data storage and low-energy writing and erasing.”

The biggest feature of this new type of ‘Universal Memory’ is its ultra-low power consumption that could potentially reduce the peak power consumption in data centres by a fifth. Another advantage is combining the shortcomings of both Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) and flash storage. In the case of DRAM, although it consumes low-energy, data storage is volatile and it needs to be refreshed frequently to retain it. Whereas, flash storage stores data for longer, it consumes a lot of energy while transferring or deleting data, which is also slow.

The researchers say that its newly patented memory type can record or delete data while using 100 times less energy than DRAM. A US patent was granted to researchers while there’s another patent pending. The report states that several other companies have shown interest in the discovery while some of them are already involved in its research.

Physics Professor Manus Hayne of Lancaster University said, “The ideal is to combine the advantages of both without their drawbacks, and this is what we have demonstrated. Our device has an intrinsic data storage time that is predicted to exceed the age of the Universe.”

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