Korean researchers developed a next-gen memory semiconductor device that is 1000 times faster in both read and write speeds than existing semiconductors. On June 21st, Prof. Hwang Cheol-seong of the Materials Science and Engineering department at Seoul National University announced that his research team developed the faster memory device, which has 1.5 times more storage capacity than current devices, too. Many expect that the new memory semiconductor device will replace NAND flash, which is what currently fits in the smallest devices like USBs.
“With the new development, the limitations associated with existing NAND flash -- a complex production process and an inconvenient way to increase the capacity (putting more memory elements on a given chip area) -- will be overcome,” said Hwang. He also said, “The new memory semiconductor device will replace NAND flash, which yearly market value now amounts to 27 trillion won [US$24.5 billion].” The new development is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the Korean semiconductor industry, which dominates more than 50 percent of the NAND flash market.
Hwang’s research team focused their research on how to overcome the limitations of Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM), a memory device method deemed the next-gen memory model. The problem with RRAM is that the attempt to increase the storage capacity of RRAM triggers increasing the number of resistance fluctuations by tens of thousands.
Hwang’s research team studied eight ways of running resistance operations without causing strong fluctuations by building an “electrode - diode-memory - electrode” layer. Through this study, the team also succeeded in increasing the storage capacity from 2 bits to 3.
Prof. Hwang said, “With the new technology, Korea has preempted the global RRAM market... this also signifies that the country has come one step closer to the commercialization of RRAM technology.”
The study was published in the May 14 online edition of Advanced Materials, one of the most prestigious publications in the field of Materials.