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Scientists have created a new type of memory that will significantly speed up artificial intelligence

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Scientists have created a new type of memory that will significantly speed up artificial intelligence

A research team led by the University of Cambridge has developed a new computer memory design that will significantly improve performance and reduce the power consumption of the internet and communications technology.

What is known

According to the university, artificial intelligence, the internet and other data-driven technologies will require more than 30% of global electricity consumption over the next decade. Moving information between storage and processing devices requires a lot of energy and time, the study says.

The scientists were experimenting with a new type of technology known as resistive switching memory. Unlike existing devices that encode data in two states (one or zero), the development of scientists allows the use of a continuous range of states.

This has been achieved by applying an electric current to certain materials, which causes the electrical resistance to increase or decrease. Different changes in electrical resistance create different possible states for data storage.

“A typical USB stick based on a continuous range will be able to store, for example, ten to a hundred times more information,” said study lead author Markus Hellenbrand.

The team developed a prototype device based on hafnium oxide. So far, it has proven difficult to apply in resistive-switching memory due to the lack of material structure at the atomic level. However, scientists found a solution: they added barium to the mixture.

This made it possible to create highly structured barium “bridges” between thick films of hafnium oxide. At the intersection point of these “bridges” with the contacts of devices, an energy barrier is created, allowing electrons to cross it.

The energy barrier can be raised or lowered. This changes the resistance of the hafnium oxide composite and allows the material to exist in multiple states.

According to scientists, the final result turned out to be similar to the work of a synapse in the brain, which can store and process information in the same place. The researchers believe that this could lead to computer memory devices with much greater density and performance, but with lower power consumption.

The Cambridge Enterprise, a commercial arm of the university, has applied for a patent. Now scientists are working with industry to conduct larger studies. They argue that integrating hafnium oxide into existing manufacturing processes will not be a problem since the material is already used in semiconductor fabrication.

Source: The Next Web.





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