New PCM Technology Uses 100 Times Less Energy

Written by John Ponio    Monday, 14 March 2011 15:10

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A University of Illinois research team has discovered a way to make a certain type of memory more efficient, such that it uses 100 times less energy than current PCM (power phase-change materials) memory. The type of memory the team is experimenting offers lower power usage because instead of storing data with electricity, as current flash memory does, it physically stores it with carbon nanotubes. By passing a small current over the tube, they can switch it to either be "on" or "off" (as those are the 1's and 0's of binary). This means that there doesn't have to be an electrical current for the information to be stored for longer than the current lasts. In mobile devices, such as your smartphone, a lot of energy is devoted to memory. With 100 times less energy being used, that turns into a lot of power savings. If you're interested, read more details here.