Newly revealed Resistive RAM (RRAM) tech puts 1 TB of storage on one chip

The amount of storage that can be put into a smartphone or PC could be set to increase at a rather rapid rate, and bring with it some boosts in battery life as well. That's due to some new technology that's being announced today by the Santa Clara, California company called Crossbar.

Today's press release reveals what Crossbar calls Resistive RAM (RRAM) that they claim will put 1 TB of storage on a single chip that's smaller than a postage stamp. In addition, several RRAM chips can also be stacked on top of each other, as shown in the illustration above, which allows for several terabytes of storage to be put in place in an electronic product.

Crossbar says RRAM will have write performance that's 20 times faster than the current best NAND Flash memory chip. It will also use 20 times less power, which the company claims could extend the battery life of a device by weeks, months or even years, depending on the product. RRAM also is supposed to have 10 times the endurance of NAND Flash memory, and with half the die size.

Crossbar claims that it has already made a memory array at a commercial fabrication facility. It plans to sell RRAM products themselves and will also license the technology to other companies. It has been granted 30 patents on the technology so far.

Source: Crossbar | Image via Crossbar

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43 Comments

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its probably why they are heavily patenting it so the other ass hats cant patent it then let it trickle out at a rediculously glacial rate with super high costs

which the company claims could extend the battery life of a device by weeks, months or even years, depending on the product

Yeah...because memory consumes the most power in my cell phone...

Spicoli said,
I wouldn't get too happy yet. A lot of startups make grand claims and then quickly proceed to bankruptcy.

or get bought out by the bigger names in the industry and the products get shelved until they need something new

what applications can this work for? laptops and desktop memory? Can you imagine how much RAM can be put in a laptop in theory

'extend the battery life of a device by weeks, months or even years, depending on the product'

Yeah, what about things like unoptimized software, all sorts of radio chips, screen, audio and whatnot that also use and drain the battery. Surely, this new RRAM technology could improve the battery life as they claim it does, but not in combination with other current technologies that are present in mobile devices. Heck, how about some breakthrough in battery tech.

It will save the environment since the size is really small. When the product is no longer fuction or usable it will be really easy to recycle compare to HDD.

Hopefully this new technology can really adopt AS SOON AS POSSIBLE . Every time a new technology is born it always don't live up to the expectation or take light years to be mature for the market to adopt. If the price of this new technology is the same as HDD STORAGE THEN IT WILL ACTUALLY CHANGE THE WAY HOW WE STORE FILE ESPECIALLY 4k is enormous. Not only the size of the product but the speed is 20x fast than flash is really a killer feature.

Hope this won't follow those foot step and quickly replace HDD and SDD with a truly affordable price for every consumer.

Edited by Master of Earth, Aug 5 2013, 4:07pm :

Graimer said,
Feeling like a nerd today, so I have to ask:
You know "light years" isn't a unit of time, right?
^^

Yeah but it is a saying that most of society seems to have adopted to mean leaps and bounds ahead of...

Very cool. Hopefully it lives up to the claims! It sounds like it would be a tremendous help for the direction electronics have been headed...

Not a scam one bit. This was invented some time ago. I'm finally glad to see it coming to market, even if just as production samples for manufacturers.

Yeah I read about this a while (few years) back so I'm glad it's actually coming to light. It'll be expensive but that's how everything is at first.

neonspark said,
nothing new, it's just memristors.

1TB on a single chip that is 20 times faster than current NAND is nothing new?

I figure they'd need a marketing name. If to avoid confusion that it wouldn't work with any of current interfaces. Disk drive and disk itself are legacy terms now, especially in mobile. For traditional PCs, too, it's more like an accelerated storage card as some PCI-E SSDs are called already.

Imagine Tablets and other small devices with higher storage speed and space. This looks good , processors are looking good too lately but what happens with the GPUs ? All the video cards look strangulated these days.

It will be expensive and unobtainable for the vast majority initially...and it's still awesome. We've been needing something to get excited for some time when it comes to large storage needs. I just added 32TB of storage externally and felt pretty good about it "only" being as big as 2 shoe boxes. How great would it be to have it fit inside your laptop?

And the most important question is... What is the price/GB and can it be produced in sufficient volume to make it viable for consumer products?

I'm afraid that the initial price will be, as always, too high to make it a viable storage solution, and since it's so heavily patented, I don't see any big price drop after the release...

BAV0 said,
I'm afraid that the initial price will be, as always, too high to make it a viable storage solution, and since it's so heavily patented, I don't see any big price drop after the release...

Indeed. The cost will be fairly set I'd wager... However if they're smart, they will price it for adoption so that they can get a good foothold in the market...

thats all well and good but A) what are the cost concerns due to the new manufacturing process, and B) how difficult would it be for existing manufacturers to implement this into their products if they wanted to use it? Unless of course they are using existing architecture to allow for the connection of their memory to busses and whatnot. Sounds like you might end up with a bottleneck at the older hardware.

Oh. Wow. I assume they mean "endurance" as write cycles? If what they claim is true it will not only replace NAND, it will replace HDDs too! (cost permitting after a few years when everyone starts making it)

It's nice to hear about technology that is actually entering production!

UseLess said,
Oh. Wow. I assume they mean "endurance" as write cycles? If what they claim is true it will not only replace NAND, it will replace HDDs too! (cost permitting after a few years when everyone starts making it)

It's nice to hear about technology that is actually entering production!

I second that - the whole longevity has kept me from wanting to have SSD storage in my computer until there was something that could deliver better performance without the degradation requiring TRIM along with improved speed as well. It'll be interesting to see where Apple will fit into this because if it means that they can go fully SSD over their whole range then I could imagine Apple cracking a deal with this company - I'm sure the said company would be more tan happy to crank out millions of units per quarter for a single dedicated company.

If 1TB is the size of a postage stamp you'd be looking at much more than 2TB in a 2.5" drive
Edit: this article says nothing about production cost though, and there will surely be a price markup when the technology's released.

I've been hearing about Resistive RAM for years. as far back as 2006 or earlier, so don't hold your breath on this. Sharp, Sony, Samsung and others were also trying to patent it.

If it ever is commercially available i can imagine it being expensive at first, like the first SSD's were.