WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. experts say a new kind of computer memory using nanotechnology could be faster than current technology and use far less power than flash memory devices.
Scientists at Purdue University say the technology combines silicon nanowires with a "ferroelectric" polymer, a material that switches polarity when electric fields are applied.
That change can be read as 0 or 1, allowing digital circuits to store information in binary code, a university release said Tuesday.
The new technology is called FeTRAM, for ferroelectric transistor random access memory.
"We've developed the theory and done the experiment and also showed how it works in a circuit," doctoral student Saptarshi Das said.
The FeTRAM is nonvolatile storage, meaning information stays in memory when the computer is powered down.
"You want to hold memory as long as possible, 10 to 20 years, and you should be able to read and write as many times as possible," Das said. "It should also be low power to keep your laptop from getting too hot. And it needs to scale, meaning you can pack many devices into a very small area. The use of silicon nanowires along with this ferroelectric polymer has been motivated by these requirements."