Scientists from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom have invented a different kind of memory that can help in solving the digital energy crisis. The study has been published in the Scientific Reports. This memory device has the potential to completely change our daily lives with its super low energy consumption.
The energy saved from electrical appliances has been fully wiped out due to the increased use of computers and related devices. It is estimated that by 2025, one-fifth of the world’s entire electric power will be consumed by the “tsunami of data”.
However, this device promises to reduce the power consumption in the data centers of the world. Besides, it would also turn computers into a highly efficient, energy-saving sleep mode even between two key stokes. It is the culmination of the search for a “Universal Memory” by researchers for several decades.
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Manus Hayne, Physics Professor at Lancaster University said that the Universal Memory which stores data very efficiently and can be easily manipulated was thought to be unfeasible to bring to reality however this has been proved wrong by this device.
Researchers have been awarded a US patent for the memory device. It has got another patent pending, while several companies have expressed their interest in the research.
Scientists took the help of quantum mechanics in solving a dilemma of making a choice between long term storing of data and low energy writing and removal of data. The device has the potential to disrupt the 100 billion USD market of Dynamic Random Access Memory.
In the case of DRAM, writing data on it is very fast and it utilizes low energy however the data written is volatile and has to be refreshed in regular intervals of time so that it does not get lost. This is clearly very inconvenient and not at all an efficient technique for data storage. On the other hand, the flash devices store data in a robust way but it takes a lot of time for writing data and erasing it. This consumes a large quantity of energy and makes it unfit for usage in working memory.
Researchers agree that the most ideal solution is to combine the advantages of both memory types while discarding the drawbacks and this has been demonstrated in the latest device. Professor Hayne commented that the device can supposedly store data for a time period longer than the Universe’s age while write and remove data with 100 times lesser energy than DRAM.