PLASTIC MEMORY

1. INTRODUCTION
Imagine a scenario where the memory stored in your digital camera or personal digital assistant is partially based one of the most flexible materials made by man- plastic.

The recent development in the memory was a new form of permanent computer memory which uses plastic and may be much cheaper and faster than the existing silicon circuits which was invented by Researchers at Princeton University working with HewlettPackard. This memory is technically a hybrid which contains a plastic film, a flexible foil substrate and some silicon, that could store more data and cost less than traditional siliconbased chips for mobile devices such as handheld computers, cell phones and MP3 players.

A conducting plastic has been used to create a new memory technology with the potential to store a megabit of data in a millimeter square device - 10 times denser than current magnetic memories. The device should also be cheap and fast, but cannot be rewritten, so would only be suitable for permanent storage.

The device sandwiches a blob of a conducting polymer called PEDOT (POLYETHYLENE DIOXYTHIOPENE) and a silicon diode between two perpendicular wires. Substantial research effort has focused on polymer-based transistors, which could form cheap, flexible circuits, but polymer-based memory has received relatively little attention.

However, turning the polymer into an insulator involves a permanent chemical change, meaning the memory can only be written to once. Its creators say this makes it ideal for archiving images and other data directly from a digital camera, cellphone or PDA, like an electronic version of film negatives.

While microchip makers continue to wring more and more from silicon, the most dramatic improvements in the electronics industry could come from an entirely different material plastic. Labs around the world are working on integrated circuits, displays for handheld devices and even

1 A.S.I.E.T., KALADY Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engg.

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PLASTIC MEMORY solar cells that rely on electrically conducting polymers ²not silicon²for cheap and flexible electronic components. Now two of the world¶s leading chip makers are racing to develop new stock for this plastic microelectronic arsenal: plastic memory. Advanced Micro Devices of Sunnyvale, CA, is working with Coatue, a startup in Woburn, MA, to develop chips that store data in polymers rather than silicon. The technology, according to Coatue CEO Andrew Perlman, could lead to a cheaper and denser alternative to flash memory chips²the type of memory used in digital cameras and MP3 players. Meanwhile, Intel is collaborating with Thin Film Technologies in Linkping, Sweden, on a similar high capacity plastic memory.

2 A.S.I.E.T., KALADY Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engg.

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PLASTIC MEMORY

2. PRESENT MEMORY TECHNOLOGY SCENARIO
In order to enable computers to work faster, there are several types of memory available today. Within a single computer there are more than one type of memory. Memory

DRAM

SRAM

NVRAM FLASH EEPROM PROM

EPROM

RAM : The RAM family includes two important memory devices: static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). The primary difference between them is the lifetime of the data they store. SRAM retains its contents as long as electrical power is applied to the chip. If the power is turned off or lost temporarily, its contents will be lost forever. DRAM, on the other hand, has an extremely short data lifetime-typically about four milliseconds. This is true even when power is applied constantly.

ROM : Memories in the ROM family are distinguished by the methods used to write new data to them (usually called programming), and the number of times they can be rewritten. This classification reflects the evolution of ROM devices from hardwired to programmable to erasable-and-programmable. A common feature of all these devices is their ability to retain data and programs forever, even during a power failure.

PROM : PROM (programmable ROM), is purchased in an unprogrammed state, then the device programmer writes data to the device one word at a time by applying an electrical charge to the input pins of the chip. Once a PROM has been programmed in this way, its contents can never be changed. If the code or data stored in the PROM must be changed, 3 A.S.I.E.T., KALADY Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engg.
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SEEPROM.I. FLASH MEMORY : Flash memory (sometimes called "flash RAM") is a type of constantly-powered nonvolatile memory that can be erased and reprogrammed in units of memory called blocks. 1. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Page 4 of 31 . As a result. When BIOS needs to be changed (rewritten). To erase an EPROM.. By doing this. rather than by exposure to ultraviolet light. It is a variation of EEPROM which. NVRAM. Two of the hybrid devices. is erased and rewritten at the byte level. However. just like ROM. unlike flash memory.S. but the erase operation is accomplished electrically. PROMs are also known as one-time programmable (OTP) devices. These devices do not belong to either group and can be collectively referred to as hybrid memory devices. is a modified version of SRAM. The third hybrid. Any byte within an EEPROM may be erased and rewritten. NVRAM usually holds persistent data. EPROMs can be erased and reprogrammed repeatedly.T. EEPROM and flash. you simply expose the device to a strong source of ultraviolet light. several types of memory combine features of both. Flash memory is often used to hold control code such as the basic input/output system (BIOS) in a personal computer. are descendants of ROM devices. KALADY Dept. the line between RAM and ROM has blurred. EPROM : An EPROM (erasable-and-programmable ROM) is programmed in exactly the same manner as a PROM. you essentially reset the entire chip to its initial unprogrammed state. These are typically used to store code. Once written. like RAM. EEPROMs are similar to EPROMs. Hybrid memories can be read and written as desired. EEPROM : An EEPROM (also called an E2PROM) or Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory.PLASTIC MEMORY the current device must be discarded. the new data will remain in the device forever-or at least until it is electrically erased. Now. is a non-volatile storage chip used in computers and other devices to store small amounts of volatile (configuration) data. but maintain their contents without electrical power. HYBRID MEMORY : As memory technology has matured in recent years. which is slower than flash memory updating.E. meaning Serial EEPROM. 2. is an EEPROM chip that uses a serial interface to the circuit board. the flash memory can be written to 4 A.

When the power is turned on.PLASTIC MEMORY in block (rather than byte) sizes. They will not allow stacking of one memory chip over the other.I.This make them good possibilities for development. flash memory is not useful as random access memory (RAM) because RAM needs to be addressable at the byte (not the block) level.S. On the other hand. Hence area required will be increased. Digital Memory is and has been a close comrade of each and every technical advancement in Information Technology.. the NVRAM draws just enough power from the battery to retain its data. NVRAM is fairly common in embedded systems. Hence industry is searching for ³Holy Grail´ future memory technologies for portable devices such as cell phones. Non-volatility is also a characteristic of the ROM and hybrid memories discussed previously. When the power is turned off. NVRAM : The third member of the hybrid memory class is NVRAM (non-volatile RAM). When larger amounts of more static data are to be stored (such as in USB flash drives) other memory types like flash memory are more economic. Page 5 of 31 . 5 A. an NVRAM is physically very different from those devices. DRAM is volatile and difficult to integrate. mobile PC¶s etc. An NVRAM is usually just an SRAM with a battery backup. Also the storage capacities are not enough to fulfill the exponentially increasing need. 3. These memory technologies when needed to expand will allow expansion only two dimensional space. Next generation memories are trying a tradeoffs between size and cost . of Electronics and Communication Engg.E. However. KALADY Dept. The current memory technologies have a lot of limitations. RAM is high cost and volatile. Flash has slower writes and lesser number of write/erase cycles compared to others.T. making it easy to update. the NVRAM operates just like any other SRAM.

. Page 6 of 31 . They include MRAM. Disk drives are faster but expensive where as semiconductor memory is slower in read/write. KALADY Dept. the biggest maker of computer processors. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Plastic memory is the leading technology among them.E. Plastic memory lies in an optimum position. Intel. 6 A.S. The most important one among them is their ability to support expansion in three dimensional spaces. large number of memory technologies were emerged.T.e. These memory technologies are referred as µNext Generation Memories¶. Next Generation Memories satisfy all of the good attributes of memory. FeRAM. It is mainly because of their expansion capability in three dimensional spaces. the Read/Write time.I. Memory Technology Comparison The graph shows a comparison between cost and speed i. NEXT GENERATION MEMORIES As mentioned earlier microchip makers continue to wring more and more from silicon. The following graph also emphasis acceptance of Plastic memory..PLASTIC MEMORY 3. is also the largest maker of flash -memory chips is trying to combine the processing features and space requirements feature and several next generation memories are being studied in this perspective. Plastic memory and Ovonics Unified Memory.

outperforming flash memory. the polymer cells can be stacked that architecture could translate into memory chips with several times the storage capacity of flash memory.I.. which should hold about two gigabits by then. Coatue¶s plastic memory cells are about one quarter the size of conventional silicon cells.T. By 2004. 7 A. of Electronics and Communication Engg. KALADY Dept. to produce a three-dimensional structure. Page 7 of 31 . promise to revolutionize the storage space and memory capabilities of chips.S. Coatue hopes to have memory chips on the market that can store 32 gigabits. And unlike silicon devices.PLASTIC MEMORY Plastic-based memory modules.E. as against silicon-based ones.

and making sure the information remain stable. KALADY Dept. suitable for myriad applications.. Heeger et al showed that polymers could be conductive. into a polymer consisting of alternately single and double bonds between the carbon atoms.1 Space charge and Polymers Making a digital memory device means finding a way to represent the ones and zeros of computer logic. where such functions typically are only achieved by complex circuitry.S.E. "Smart" materials can be produced from scratch. Polymers are highly adaptable materials. As these holes or extra electrons are able to move along the molecule.T. In other words. allowing them to be built according to design. or introduced. 4. Heeger.PLASTIC MEMORY 4. Digital memory is an essential component of many electronic devices. Thin Film Electronics has developed a specific group of polymers that are bistable and thus can be used as the active material in a non -volatile memory. like switchability. 8 A. the structure becomes electrically conductive. Electrons were removed. This polymer is "smart". devising a relatively convenient way to retrieve these binary patterns from storage. to the extent that functionality is built into the material itself. POLYMERS AS ELECTRONIC MATERIALS Polymers are organic materials consisting of long chains of single molecules. of Electronics and Communication Engg. polymer solutions can be deposited on flexible substrates with industry standard processes like spin coating in ultra thin layers. and memory that takes up little space and electricity is in high demand as electronic devices continue to shrink.I. where ³tailor-made´ memory materials represent unknown territory Polymers are essentially electronic materials that can be processed as liquids. Until the 1970s and the work of Nobel laureates Alan J. Alan G. This opens up tremendous opportunities in the electronics world. the Thin Film polymers can be switched from one state to the other and maintain that state even when the electrical field is turned off. molecule by molecule. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa. This is different from silicon and other electronic materials. Page 8 of 31 . addressability and charge store. With Thin Film¶s memory technology. polymers were only considered to be insulators.

Researchers are looking forward to increasing it into days or more. 3-volt pulse. The researchers made the storage device by spreading a 50 -nanometer layer of the polymer regioregularpoly on glass.. running across the surface. which are negatively charged.PLASTIC MEMORY Researchers from the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and the Italian National used positive and negative electric charges. of Electronics and Communication Engg. or electrical current. The researchers intend to increase the memory retention ability of their device beyond an hour. it with the default low state. Once this is achieved. or the positively-charged holes vacated by electrons. and conveniently check the presence of the space charges to know the state of the polymer layer. one minute pulse. then topping it with an aluminum electrode.I. The space charges remain stable for about an hour and also can be refreshed by another 3-volt positive pulse. These charges come either from electrons. KALADY Dept.T. Space charges are essentially differences in electrical charge in a given region. A polymer retains space charges near a metal interface when there is a bias. They can be read using an electrical pulse because they change the way the devices conduct electricity. they used a 0. To write a space charge to the device.2-volt.S.E. To read the state. replacing . 9 A. store binary numbers Research Council. or space charges contained within plastic to . they applied a positive 20-second. Any kind of negative electrical pulse erased this high state or charge. polymer devices can be used in data storage devices and also as a switch whose state can be changed externally by a voltage pulse. We can store space charges in a polymer layer. Page 9 of 31 .

E.. Its stability may quickly o improve. D. and potentially inexpensive nonvolatile memory array made from a mix of plastic and gold nanoparticles.. Recent measurements suggest that it endures more than 1000 switches and retains its data for roughly 10 days. fromNational Chung Hsing University (NCHU) and the quasi-governmental Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). But organic memory devices tend to break down in air and under the stress of many read-write cycles. at the2007 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting. Engineers have been pursuing organic nonvolatile memories²devices made from plastic and other carbon-based chemicals²because they can potentially be manufactured cheaply using printing processes. durable.I. the memory¶s retention time can reach 30 days. The researchers.S. The Taiwanese team plans to integrate the memory into smart cards. PLASTIC COMPUTER MEMORY'S SECRET IS GOLD NANOPARTICLES Taiwanese researchers say they have developed a simple. The array is a 16byte device called an organic nonvolatile bistable memory. KALADY Dept.C.T. Page 10 of 31 . 10 A. even when exposed t air.PLASTIC MEMORY 5. says Pei. presented details of the device today in Washington. ´Theoretically. of Electronics and Communication Engg.´ he says.

which act as fingers that get entangled with the host polymer. Taiwan. the stabilization of the structure of the organic memory can be ensured even if high-voltage stress is applied.T. the state in which it is storing a 0. to be held in Hsinchu. sandwiched between two aluminum electrodes.´ says Pei. smaller voltages will continue to produce the high current. But some get trapped along the way. and the device is considered to be storing a 1. there are so many trapped electrons that they form a highly cond uctive path through the device. But push the voltage past 2 volts. At that point. The voltages involved in writing bits can stress the plastic and make a device unstable by causing the nanoparticles to clump together.I. Reading the bit stored in the device involves applying a small voltage and measuring the resulting current. ´In the memory device. and sponsored by ITRI. 11 A. ´Therefore.E.S. Pei and his colleagues theorize that before that threshold.. the structure conducts little current. of Electronics and Communication Engg.´ Pei¶s team plans to show off the device on 17 and 18 December at the 2007 International Symposium for Flexible Electronics and Display (ISFED). Page 11 of 31 . gold nanoparticles are connected directly to polymer chains.PLASTIC MEMORY The new memory consists of gold nanoparticles mixed into a polymer called PCm. and the current jumps 10 000-fold. At 2 volts. a trickle of electrons is hopping from gold nanoparticle to gold nanoparticle. But the Taiwanese researchers found a way to prevent that by stabilizing the nanoparticles. KALADY Dept. sweeping away the trapped charges. Ordinarily. Erasing the bit is simply done by applying a strong negative voltage.

ITRI launched Taiwan¶s first laboratory dedicated to flexible electronics. 12 A.1 million in funding. such as carbon-60.S.PLASTIC MEMORY An organic memory is considered essential to implement flexible electronics. Other research groups are also pursuing organic nonvolatile memory devices using either different nanoparticles. and flexible displays. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Page 12 of 31 . with US $9. embedded in the plastic or using the plastic as part of an organic transistor structure..I. such as radiofrequency identification (RFID).T.E. In mid-March. KALADY Dept. e-paper. smart cards.

Different voltage polarities are used to write and read the cells. and conveniently check the presence o the space charges to know the f state of the polymer layer. Now let¶s see what are a dipole and a dipole moment. or electrical current. and making sure the information remains stable. 13 A. To activate this cell structure. They can be read using an electrical pulse because they change the way the device conducts electricity.E. and the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk. Here polarizations of polymers are changed up or down to represent logic one and zero.PLASTIC MEMORY 6. The different conductivity States represent bits of information. of Electronics and Communication Engg. the polymer maintains its state until a field of opposite polarity is applied to raise its resistance back to its original level. These charges come either from electrons. It is the reason by which polymers show difference in electrical conductivity. KALADY Dept. Coatue fabricates each memory cell as a polymer sandwiched between two electrodes. Coatue¶s chips store data based on the polymer¶s electrical resistance.I. The basic principle of Polymer based memory is the dipole moment possessed by polymer chains. Application of an electric field to a cell lowers the polymer¶s resistance.T. which are negatively charged. running across the surface. We can store space charges in a polymer layer. Plastic memory stores information in an entirely different manner than silicon devices. As explained earlier implementing a digital memory means setting up away to represent logic one and logic zero. modifying the organic material. thus increasing its ability to conduct current. Using technology licensed from the University of California. devising a relatively convenient way to retrieve these binary patterns from storage. or the positively-charged holes vacated by electrons.S. a voltage is applied between the top and bottom electrodes.. HOW DOES PLASTIC MEMORY WORK? Making a digital memory device means finding a way to represent the ones and zeros of computer logic. Rather than encoding zeroes and ones as the amount of charge stored in a cell. Space charges are essentially differences in electrical charge in a given region. A polymer retains space charges near a metal interface when there is a bias. Los Angeles. Page 13 of 31 .

KALADY Dept. the positive charges are displaced in the direction of the field towards negative end. Two equal and opposite charges separated by a distance form a dipole.I. Page 14 of 31 . while negative charges are displaced in the opposite direction.. 14 A. of Electronics and Communication Engg. The intensity of dipole moment depend on the extend of the displacement which in turn depend on the applied electric field intensity. The dipole moment per unit volume of the solid is the sum of all the individual dipole moments within that volume and is called Polarization of the solid.S. Hence this displacement produces local dipoles throughout the solid.T. The alignment of local dipoles within a polymer chain Coatue fabricates each memory cell as a polymer sandwiched between two electrodes. When electric field is applied polymers local dipoles will set up.E.1 Dipole Moment When electric field is applied to solids containing positive and negative charges.PLASTIC MEMORY 6. The alignment of local dipoles within a polymer chain is shown in the diagram.

it is a so-called WORM--write once.1 BASIC PROPERTY OF PLASTIC While experimenting with a polymer material known as PEDOT. which can be stored as collections of ones and zeros 7. he developed a method to take advantage of this p roperty to store digital information. a blown fuse blocks current flow and is read as a zero.000 high-quality digital images.S. and producing it wouldn't require high-temperatures or vacuum chambers. PLASTIC MEMORY TECHNOLOGY 7. "The device could probably be made cheaply enough that one -time use would be the best way to go. 15 A.. Together with colleagues from Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. whereas a working fuse is interpreted as a one. When a lower current is later used to read the data. Page 15 of 31 . the scientists suggest.T.I.PLASTIC MEMORY 7. Because the storage method involves a physical change to the device." leaving a mix of functioning and nonfunctioning connections. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Princeton University researcher Sven Moller determined that although the plastic conducts electricity at low voltages. A block just a cubic centimeter in size could contain as many as 1.E. read many times--technology. The team predicts that one million bits of information could fit into a square millimeter of material the thickness of a sheet of paper. A large applied current causes specific fuses to "blow." says study co-author Stephen Forrest of Princeton University. it permanently loses its conductivity when exposed to higher voltages.2 PROCEDURE The PEDOT-based memory card consists of a grid of circuits comprising polymer fuses. KALADY Dept.

I. 16 A. Page 16 of 31 . Bottom: Schematic of the memory element used in this study. . Subsequently the memory is read at -0. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Write ± Read ± Erase cycle: A -6V pulse is applied to bring the memory in its written state..S. Hence a simple bu effective memory is created. KALADY Dept. Re-polling of the device records which columns are 1¶s and which are 0¶s. creating a ³0´.5V. Application of an electrical voltage to an individual element blows-out the smallpolymer fuse. employing an Aluminum coated.E. Also shown is the chemical structural formula of the plastic polymer. flexible stainless steel substrate. Further a +6V pulse is applied to erase to memory.T.PLASTIC MEMORY Top: Conceptual view of a working device. PEDOT.

. Page 17 of 31 . KALADY Dept.PLASTIC MEMORY A schematic overview of a memory cell.E.I.S.T. 17 A. of Electronics and Communication Engg.

It uses a passively addressed. This stacking is a fundamental strength of the Thin Film technology.E. Any kind of negative electrical pulse erased this high state. Layer upon layer may be coated on a substrate. they used a 0.000 of a millimeter or less in thickness. The experimental devices contain two polymer layers. 3-volt pulse. or charge. The second layer consists of poly (3. KALADY Dept.T.S. covered with circuit-board-like patterns of silicon. The plastic memory layers are just 1/10. each new layer adds the same capacity as the first one. then topping it with an aluminum electrode. To write a space charge to the device. a continuous sheet of flexible polymer is unrolled from one spool. The first layer consists of PEDOT: PSS to which an inorganic salt (e. In the latter case. Memory cells are defined by the physical overlap of the electrode crossings and selected by applying voltage. or share circuitry with all other layers. The stacking option will enable manufacturers to give gain previously unattainable storage capacity within a given footprint. with no mechanical or moving parts involved. autonomous and easy to deposit. Each electrode crossing represents one bit of information in a true 4f (4 -Lampda square) cell structure.2-volt. the smallest possible physical memory cell. Motion of the ions present in the device under influence of an electric field is expected to induce switching between a high and a low conduction state.I. 18 A. A layer may include a self contained active memory structure with on-layer TFT circuitry. the so called ON and OFF state of a memory device. lithium triflate) and plasticizer (ethylene carbonate. EC) have been added. replacing it with the default low state. In this process. An ultra thin layer of the TFE polymer is sandwiched between two sets of electrodes. one minute pulse. A typical array may consist of several thousand such electrically conducting lines and hence millions of electrode crossings. of Electronics and Communication Engg.g.hexylthiophene) (P3HT) doped with the plasticizer. The researchers made the storage device by spreading a 50 -nanometer layer of the polymer regioregularpoly on glass.. To read the state. indium doped tin oxide (ITO) and aluminum. Page 18 of 31 . Both approaches offer true 3D memory architecture. The Thin Film memory design is solid state. and collected on another spool.PLASTIC MEMORY A two-terminal device in which an organic semiconducting polymer is sandwiched between two electrodes. cross point matrix. they applied a positive 20-second. The effective cell footprint is further reduced if additional memory layers are applied.

S.I. KALADY Dept. spintronic computers that the researchers hope to eventually create.E.PLASTIC MEMORY 8. They say that the new device is a bridge between today¶s computers and the all-polymer. It¶s simply a thin strip of dark blue organic-based magnet layered with a metallic ferromagnet and connected to two electrical leads.. the researchers successfully recorded data on it and retrieved the data by controlling the spins of the electrons with a magnetic field. 19 A. Still.T. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Page 19 of 31 . READ/WRITE TECHNOLOGY USED IN PLASTIC MEMORY Scientists from Ohio University has created a new spintronics memory device from plastic.

No current means the bit is a zero. long -term stability. The prototype plastic flash memory cannot match silicon's storage density. they run current through the top wire and measure the current in the bottom wire. and are therefore much cheaper than silicon devices.. the researchers use the wires and the diode surrounding the PEDOT blob to run either a high or a low current through it. and USB drives. of Electronics and Communication Engg. cameras. Cheap and plastic aren't words often associated with cutting-edge technology. Page 20 of 31 . which must be etched. KALADY Dept. memory cards. For example. But its low cost could make it possible to integrate flash memory into more unconventional electronics. But for a memory application. Flash memory stores data electrically. Polymer devices can sprayed or printed. and vice versa. READ AND WRITE METHOD To store the memory. or number of rewrite cycles.I. In their paper in Nature. 20 A. To read the memory. they can read and write multiple bits to one device.PLASTIC MEMORY 9. Information can be recorded and read quickly and is retained even when the power is off. the researchers describe just one such junction. In this way. But the technology is still more expensive than conventional hard disks. in specially designed silicon transistors. A grid system is commonly used in display screens to switch individual pixels. cheap plastic memory devices might be incorporated into e-paper or disposable sensor tags. This makes flash ideal for MP3 players.T.S. the device will need many more. But researchers in Tokyo have created a new kind of plastic low-cost flash memory that could find its way into novel flexible electronics.E. This either creates an insulator or leaves it as a conductor. So the Hewlett-Packard team is now working on building a grid of intersecting wires.

Page 21 of 31 . The absence of moving parts in itself offers a substantial speed advantage compared to all mechanical systems. like magnetic hard disks and optical systems. Depending on how the polymer is processed and initialized this speed can range from nanoseconds to microseconds. SPEED The absence of moving parts offers a substantial speed advantage compared to mechanical storage systems such as magnetic hard disks and optical storage. SPEED ETC. because the polymer is solution-based and can easily be applied to large surfaces with regular coating processes (even something as simple as printing a photograph on an ink -jet printer). reading speed is symmetric with write. another non -volatile memory. The use of a solution based memory material opens up for better price/capacity performance than hitherto experienced by the 21 A.T.PLASTIC MEMORY 10. This speed symmetry puts the Thin Film memory in a favorable position versus e. In the first case. Thin Film memory technology is all solid state based.I. KALADY Dept.g. the fact is that the new polymer-based technology can offer total storage solutions.. In the non-destructive read mode the Thin Film memory speed will be comparable to or better than DRAM read speeds. NUMBER OF TRANSISTORS The stacking also means that a lesser number of transistors can be used for the circuitry in the chip.5 billion transistors required by traditional silicon-based systems for one gigabit.S. NUMBER OF TRANSISTORS. The Thin Film system requires about 0. NAND flash.E.5 to 6. The polymer film can be read in two modes either destructive or non-destructive. there is a huge advantage in terms of price for capacity. where the erase before write may be orders of magnitude slower than the read.5 million transistors per gigabit of memory compared to 1. While the illustrations on advantages regarding the size were based on RAM for matters of convenience. More important than single bit speed capacity is the potentials embedded in the 3D architecture per sec. allowing massive parallelism in multiple dimensions and the use of mega words rather than the prevailing 64 and 128 bit words. of Electronics and Communication Engg. COST Cost-wise.

which could fit on a bank card. Typically 8 layers involve about the same number of mask steps as making a conventional memory chip. PDAs (more e-mail. using inkjet printers or roll-to-roll production. the cost per MB wi l be substantially lower. or twice the cost of a single layer chip. One can imagine what this would mean to laptops (same footprint. since more bits can be packaged in that area. the substrate circuitry with one memory layer will typically cost the same to process per area unit as competing silicon devices. TFE believes that the cost per MB will become so low that truly disposable memory chips will become possible. 22 A. One report says that this technology could take flash card prices to 10 per cent of what they are today. This price advantage scales with the number of memory layers. The l ability to expand capacity by stacking also means that the cost per MB will reduce substantially.S. while the storage capacity increases 8x. Page 22 of 31 . more addresses. mobile phones (more and more phone numbers and SMS messages). OPERATIONAL TEMPERATURE Polymers are robust by nature. Cost per MB will here become so low that true disposable memory chips can be envisaged. for the cost of a few cents.I. The results underline the exceptional stability of the plastic memory and compliance with military and commercial standard tests. KALADY Dept. Even greater cost advantages will come with TFT based chips. of Electronics and Communication Engg.PLASTIC MEMORY electronic industry. The plastic memory developed by Thin Film has undergone stringent reliability tests at temperatures between -40 and 110°C. The news is explosive: Evidently. a Norwegian company can produce a memory module with a capacity of up to 170.E. however. and more notes). digital cameras (more and better pictures per card. and the cards are cheap!). but gigabytes of space and RAM).T..000 gigabytes. For the hybrid silicon-polymer chips.

23 A. 5. Operational temperature between -40 and 110°C. easy to integrate with other CMOS 6. Page 23 of 31 . KALADY Dept.S. Memory is Nonvolatile 4.I.. Write speed faster than NAND and NOR Flash. Simple processing. Data stored by changing the polarization of the polymer between 2. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Zero transistors per bit of storage 3. FEATURES OF PLASTIC MEMORY metal lines.E. No cell standby power or refresh required 7.T. Microsecond initial reads. 1.PLASTIC MEMORY 11.

5-6. which are typically 2. It requires far fewer transistors. KALADY Dept.T. usage.5B (billion).E. 2. but worth mentioning. 5. COMPARISON WITH FLASH MEMORY 1. Nothing new compared to flash. Lab-built devices with a 1GB storage capacity have yielded read/write cycle times that are 10 times faster than Compact Flash.10MB/s 1-4MB/s write. yielding 3D space be set beside each other. of Electronics and Communication Engg. typically only 0.5M (million) for 1GB of storage compared to silicon's 1. The control circuitry only occupies 1-5% of total transistor area. Page 24 of 31 .I. silicon chips can only read. Plastic memory is fast. It has very low power consumption. 3.. 7. 4. It maintains memory even when the power is turned off.S. It costs about 5% as much to manufacture compared to silicon based memory. It can be stacked vertically in a product. 6. 24 A.PLASTIC MEMORY 12.

won't require a power-hungry laser or motor to read or write. So this would be suitable only for permanent storage. PEDOT would just create a static section for incoming data. But this new memory. This ensures that the integrity of data on documents is preserved over long periods of time. though it can be read many times. who rely on the fact they cannot afford to leave a trace out of fear of being caught for their dirty work. ADVANTAGES OF PLASTIC MEMORY The plastic memory technology promises to store more data at less cost than the expensive-to-build silicon chips used by popular consumer gadgets including digital cameras.PLASTIC MEMORY 13. It acts in that respect like a non rewriteable compact disc.T. the new technology can be written to only once. 25 A. but can be read very fast and with low power consumption. hackers would not be able to erase their IP addresses. The memory cannot be rewritten. With PEDOT-based solutions.. Page 25 of 31 .S. Instead of rewriting over existing data. and promises more capacity. KALADY Dept. which retains data even when there's no power. PEDOT-based machine could solve the problem of virus hackers. cell phones and portable music players.I.E. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Unlike flash memory found in consumer devices.

This technology is still under research. Page 26 of 31 .E. energy consumption and reliability. Memory technologies compete not only on storage capacity but on speed. But turning plastic memory into a commercial product won¶t be easy. LIMITATIONS OF PLASTIC MEMORY The dimension demands on devices increasingly get smaller to host a variety of form factors. so it will take about 5yrs to launch in the market. Smaller memory space means the transistors leak more electricity and suck up more power.S. The biggest challenge is developing production technique. and anticipated capacity is only on the order of a kilobit..I. KALADY Dept.T. of Electronics and Communication Engg. 26 A. The difficulty is in meeting all the requirements of current silicon memory chips. It can be read many times but it can be write only ones.PLASTIC MEMORY 14. The plastic memory made at Bell Labs is still relatively slow by silicon standards.

But this new memory. cell phones and portable music players. APPLICATIONS OF PLASTIC MEMORY Flash memory stores data electrically. So this would be suitable only for permanent storage. won't require a power-hungry laser or motor to read or write. The memory cannot be rewritten. hackers would not be able to erase their IP addresses. the new technology can be written to only once.I.. 27 A. Information can be recorded and read quickly and is retained even when the power is off. though it can be read many times. Instead of rewriting over existing data. The plastic memory technology promises to store more data at less cost than the expensiveto-build silicon chips used by popular consumer gadgets including digital cameras. PEDOT would just create a static section for incoming data. This ensures that the integrity of data on documents is preserved over long periods of time. who rely on the fact they cannot afford to leave a trace out of fear of being caught for their dirty work. Polymer devices can be used in data storage devices and also as a switch whose state can be changed externally by a voltage pulse. in specially designed silicon transistors. It acts in that respect like a non-rewriteable compact disc. of Electronics and Communication Engg. Page 27 of 31 .PLASTIC MEMORY 15. which retains data even when there's no power. and USB drives. but can be read very fast and with low power consumption.S.T. KALADY Dept.E. Unlike flash memory found in consumer devices. memory cards. cameras. and promises more capacity. PEDOT-based machine could solve the problem of virus hackers. This makes flash ideal for MP3 players. With PEDOT-based solutions.

rather than performance.T. Evidently. and more notes). digital cameras (more and better pictures per card. Page 28 of 31 . more addresses. PDAs (more e-mail. outperforming flash memory. mobile phones (more and more phone numbers and SMS messages).. it could pave the way to computers made entirely of plastic electronic components. One report says that this technology could take flash card prices to 10 per cent of what they are today. which could fit on a bank card. to produce a three dimensional structure. from the display to the logic chip. which should hold about two gigabits by then. One likely use is in disposable electronics. Researchers at Lucent Technologies¶ Bell Laboratories are working on plastic memory devices for use in identification tags. KALADY Dept. Coatue hopes to have memory chips on the market that can store 32 gigabits. where cost. of Electronics and Communication Engg.E. but gigabytes of space and RAM). for the cost of a few cents. and the cards are cheap!).000 gigabytes.S. By 2004.I. As plastic memory technology advances. a Norwegian company can produce a memory module with a capacity of up to 170. One can imagine what this would mean to laptops (same footprint. but as researchers push the bounds of polymers. FUTURE SCOPE Cost per MB will here become so low that true disposable memory chips can be envisaged. 28 A. That may be decades off. is the deciding factor.PLASTIC MEMORY 16. the vision seems less far-fetched.

PLASTIC MEMORY 17. GOAL OF PLASTIC MEMORY The goal is to make the technology fast enough to store video.I. 29 A. increase reliability and speed up reading and writing of memory chips.S.E.T. The researchers hope that this technology will decrease the size. Page 29 of 31 . of Electronics and Communication Engg.. KALADY Dept.

E. production.. The nonvolatileness and other features are in built in molecular level and offers very high advantages in terms of cost. but can be read very fast and with low power consumption.S. So this would be suitable only for permanent storage. Polymers .which are once considered to be the main reason for pollution and referred to be removed from the earth. CONCLUSION The fundamental strength i. the stacking of memory layers which yields maximum storage capacity in a given footprint is the main reason why Plastic memory is highly preferred. The memory cannot be rewritten. 30 A.. has found a new area of utilization.Packard. storage capacity and cost.I. KALADY Dept.T.PLASTIC MEMORY 18. Plastic memory is much cheaper and faster than the existing silicon a circuit was invented by Researchers at Princeton University working with Hewlett. Plastic memory is a combination of materials that could lower the cost and boost the density of electronic memory. It is an all-organic memory system with manifold advantages: in speed. Page 30 of 31 . of Electronics and Communication Engg. energy consumption.e.

. K. Otuka and C. Dam. Ed.com 11.E. Washington DC. K. Chen.com 10. www. 203-219.technologyreview. Chem. 1698-1702. Sada. KALADY Dept.org 9. 2002. Tokyo. Irie. S. www. M. "Reversible Gelation of Polyoxazoline by Means of DielsAlder Reaction" Macromolecules. MIT Technology Review 09 / 02 ± Plastic memory 7. X. Am. Cambridge Univ. 1990. 2034-2057. Wudl. Eds. "A Thermally Re-mendable Cross-Linked Polymeric Material". REFERENCES 1. Science. www. Nutt. www. M.M. pp.. pp. Mal. Eds. Press.I. Lendlein and S. Ono. 2636-2641. Saegusa. Weinheim. [CrossRef] 6.internetnews. pp.Ishii. 2000. Page 31 of 31 . AAAS. A. and T. WILEY. M.com 31 A. Sheran. and F. 3. MIT Technology Review 03 / 02 ±Improved Memory 8.Chem. R.Soc.. Columbus. pp. Development of shape-memory polymers. Int. Chujo. K. 10-29 (in Japanese).PLASTIC MEMORY 19. A. Cambridge.ieee. Y. Shen. H. of Electronics and Communication Engg.S. Angew. 1998. Irie.Wayman.findarticles. 2. 4. "Shape-Memory Polymer". Shape memory material. A. Kelch. M. pp. K. [CrossRef] 5. 2002.T. CMC.

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