Market Analyst Reportlinker.com recently added a report to its catalogue titled, ‘Advanced Solid-state Memory Systems And Products: Emerging Non-volatile Memory Technologies, Industry Trends And Market Analysis ’and it is also available on its website.
The report says that the estimated semiconductor memory for the next generation silicon integrated circuits signifies the qualities of the current multiple memory technologies. It will need to feature rapid static random access memory (SRAM), the non-volatility of flash, and the volume of dynamic random access memory (DRAM). It will also need to be cost-effective and nano-sized.
Flash memories are at present deployed as non-volatile memory in independent and embedded chips. But flash is not suitable for memory, because it takes too long to program and has limited cycle endurance. The high programming voltages also make it difficult to bring the end form factor down to nano-size.
The long life of SRAM, DRAM, and flash, the report says, is due to differentiation. Many platforms require all three memories to offer cost- effective good performance. Differentiation leads to complications in embedded applications, where an electronic product is integrated on a single chip, with all three memories often deployed simultaneously.
The report has analyzed all three memories. SRAM has good read and write speeds and easily fits into embedded applications and is power efficient. But its big cell size hampers its use in embedded applications needing more memory. It is used in microprocessors, where speed is more essential than volume.
DRAM needs a single transistor and storage capacitor per cell, offering more density but increasing process complications. The stored charge could seep out, making it consume more power every few milliseconds. This makes it unsuitable for mobile electronics with time bound battery life.
Flash memory delivers information to be retained even when power is switched off, saving battery life. This makes it ideal for mobile electronics. It features high volume and fast access time. On the other hand, it has a slow write mode with limited endurance unsuited for most applications.
The report says researchers are endeavoring to develop a ‘universal memory’ combining the benefits of all three memories. This could remove the need for multiple memories, saving time and inherent losses due to such transfers, lowering system cost.