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Writer Fuel: New Universal Memory Chips Promise Energy Efficiency and Much Faster Speeds

computer chip

Universal computer memory that’s both super-fast and energy efficient is one step closer to reality after scientists built an “extremely” stable prototype using a completely new material.

The new material, dubbed “GST467,” which contains germanium, antimony and terbium, was used as one repeating layer in a stacked-layer structure, known as a superlattice, and could pave the way for universal memory that can replace both short- and long-term storage. It can also be faster, cheaper and less power-intensive, scientists said in a study published Jan. 22 in the journal Nature.

Computers today use short-term memory, like random access memory (RAM) and long-term flash memory — such as solid-state drives (SSDs) or hard drives — for different purposes. RAM is fast but needs a significant amount of physical space and a constant power supply, meaning its data vanishes when the computer has been turned off. Flash memory, on the other hand, retains data without needing power and is much denser, but it’s slower than RAM at transferring its stored data to the processor.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

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