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New Ferro-Electric Polymer revolutionizes Computer Memory

by Rus Abz 2011-09-29 13:07

The first transistor was invented in 1947 by group of physicists who had worked with quantum theory. John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 for inventing the first transistors. Since then transistors, especially the metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor, the MOSFET, has achieved an electronic hegemony as a building block of large-scale integrated circuits and computer memory chips behind the progress of world's information society.

Ferro Electric PolymerToday transistor is being reinvented again by researchers of National Science Foundation together with Purdue's Network for Computational Nanotechnology and scientists of Birck Nanotechnology Center. The nanotechnology researchers suggested new breakthrough technology which combines silicon nanowires with a Ferro-Electric Polymer. This innovative material switches polarity under application of electric fields. This effect have lead to a creation of a new type of Ferro-Electric transistor.

The layout for a new type of integrated circuit based on Ferro-Electric transistors leads to the development of new Computer Memory Technology called "FeTRAM". The Ferro-electric transistor random access memory has capacity to be much faster than the traditional type of commercially used flash memory. At the same time the FeTram memory uses far less power than flash memory integrated circuitry. The "FeTRAM" devices are similar to most advanced types of ferro-electric random access memories, or "FeRAM" devices, used commercially in relatively small part of the world semiconductor markets. The difference is in the ferro-electric material itself, allowing the non-volatile storage of the information. However the difference is in the non-destructive read-out, or reading cycle without losing the information. FETRAM technology allows avoiding the complications of wasting extra computing cycles, time intervals and energy spent to perform re-write to restore the information in the FeRAM memory cell capacitors. The FeTRAM ferro-electric transistor used instead of the FeRAM capacitor is the major technology innovation providing revolutionary qualities for the next generation of Ferro-electric transistor random access memory.      

The fundamental theory work behind the new invention has been completed along with patenting process. The experimental FeTRAM integrated circuits demonstrated readiness for a transition to the next steps which take into account a production level requirements. The experimental memory devices built of the ferro-electric transistors provides required changing polarity needed for digital circuits to reliably storing information in binary code. The new technology allows seamless and stable integration with existing nanotechnology devices and circuits. The FeTRAM technology has nonvolatile storage, meaning it stays in memory after supplying power is turned off. The new devices have the potential to use just a fraction of energy, down to one-hundredth compared with currently used traditional types forms of flash memory dominating the market.

Compared to "SRAM" - another form of popular computer memory, the new FeTRAM memory chips could be much faster. Introduction of silicon nanowires along with the ferroelectric polymer answers the need to pack many devices into a tiny footprint area, fulfilling main functions of computer memory of writing, reading the information and hold it for a very long period of time. Reduced power consumption also promises to reduce the power dissipation of the new memory devices, while allowing for production level scalability to efficiently replace a conventional memory systems. The FeTRAM technology has demonstrated the compatibility with currently adopted industry scale manufacturing processes. Combination of FeTram Ferro-Electric Polymer with silicon nanowires leads to development of new memory tiny footprint circuitry. The FeTram Ferro-Electric Polymer experimental memory devices allow easy integration with the existing Complementary Metal Oxide semiconductor, the "CMOS" and MOSFET devices, the capacitor based devices, and their manufacturing processes are compatible with the primary mass production technologies used to produce modern computer memory chips.

Ferro-electric transistor innovation

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