Storing Three Bits Into One Memory Cell

Roland Piquepaille writes "Increasing storage density by packing more than 0 or 1 in a single memory cell is an appealing idea. Now, "researchers from the University of Southern California and NASA have built a prototype molecular memory device that stores three bits in the same spot." Each memory cell is a field-effect transistor (FET) made from a 10-nanometer-diameter indium oxide wire. By applying current to a gate electrode, the nanowire can have eight discrete levels of electrical conductance, therefore representing the eight combinations of 3 bits. The prototype can retain data for 600 hours and provides a data density of 40 gigabits per square centimeter. The researchers think they can reach a density of 400 gigabits per square centimeter within 5 to 10 years. More details and references are available in this overview. [Note: Nanodot described another approach to molecular memory last March.]"

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