New Memory Cell Could Boost Computer Speeds

Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1444
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1444

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By 2005, the computer industry expects to have reached the size limit for capacitors, components of "working" memory chips that store data temporarily as a computer runs programs. Now, in the 13 May issue of Electronics Letters, researchers from Cambridge University and the Japanese electronics giant Hitachi describe a new chip architecture that does away with traditional capacitors, slashing the real estate of each memory cell by more than half. The capacitor's job is taken over by a novel type of transistor, recast as a data storage bin.