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Fujitsu To Mass-Produce NRAM Carbon Nanotube Memory In 2018

Nantero throws its hat into the non-volatile memory ring with its new carbon nanotube-based NRAM memory technology. Fancy a carbon nanotube SSD, anyone?

Fujitsu To Mass-Produce NRAM Carbon Nanotube Memory In 2018 : Read more
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  1. Why do I have to wait until 2018 for <removed by mod> memory ;-(

    <watch the language>
  2. Wow, so these are physical switches that turn on and off, as the tubes jump up and down? Crazy. It just sucks that initial chips will be 32 MB ones.
  3. This is awesome! Thanks for breaking it down for us, Paul!

    I wonder if these chips are sensitive to static electricity (not ESD, but just the static electric field), in a fashion similar to how magnetic storage is sensitive to magnets. Hard drives are pretty safe, in their metal cases, which are a natural consequence of their various mechanical constraints. But, if NRAM ships in some kind of DIMM or M.2 form factor, then will they have to essentially wrap them in foil to protect the data from accidental erasure?
  4. The article states "will ship with half the cost of DRAM" but ends with "If the price is right, the technology will trickle down into more familiar devices, such as SSDs, in the future."

    If first gen ships with prices 'half the cost of dram', would that not imply that the price is 'right' straight of the bat?
  5. WFang said:
    The article states "will ship with half the cost of DRAM" but ends with "If the price is right, the technology will trickle down into more familiar devices, such as SSDs, in the future."

    If first gen ships with prices 'half the cost of dram', would that not imply that the price is 'right' straight of the bat?


    i could be wrong.. but i think what hes saying is if it starts at half the cost of DRAM (16gb for 100$ for ddr4? so 16gb NRAM for 50$) then hopefully it will drop more to SSD pricing eventually (250gb for 100$)

    either way this is great and im excited!

    *fixed my typo :P*
  6. Quote:
    i could be wrong.. but i think what hes saying is if it starts at half the cost of DRAM (16gb for 100$ for ddr4? so 16gb NRAM for 100$) then hopefully it will drop more to SSD pricing eventually (250gb for 100$)

    either way this is great and im excited!

    Ah, yes, I could see that, except I think you have your numbers wrong ;) If 16GiB DRAM is $100 and this NRAM is half, it would be $50 for 16GiB NRAM.. but yeah, its quite a bit more than what we pay for SSD drives for sure.. Your post, and my giant cup of coffee made that pretty clear! :P

    So yeah, as a high activity hot-swap type disk, a smaller disk with 1000+X endurance and less power for same performance would still be valuable in enterprise, but not so much for normal home use where SSD endurance is less of a problem currently, but storage space IS important.

    Definitely exciting, and perhaps we won't have to wait too long to learn more: "some are already developing 28nm 3D designs that enable "multi-GB" products that are denser than DRAM. Nantero indicated that its partners will announce these products soon."

    If mechanical disk and SSD paired to make hybrids, perhaps we'll see hybrid SSD+NRAM in the next few years as well? Done correctly, you could probably achieve higher reliability/endurance on an SSD if you had e.g. 32GiB of NRAM to use for data that changes frequently, and the SSD is more of an archival dump.
  7. I am thinking it will hit the cache/mobile market soon. I wouldn't be surprised to see new lines of Qualcomm Snapdragon chips that support it as an option, and even chips by various companies that use it as an on package cache. Think about an extra 256MB cache, relatively inexpensive and with near DRAM performance on the same package as every CPU with an iGPU. Even those that don't. Inexpensive and could make a big difference. And on the flip side an inexpensive and efficient mobile RAM. LPDDR5 perhaps.
  8. So lets get this right. It's...
    Faster than DRAM, - possibly faster than CPU cache
    More heat tolerant than just about anything
    Longer life than any current SSD technology, with permanent storage
    Can be produced in current CMOS fabs
    "DDR4 interface...constrains the performance " so it will have much higher timings.

    This all sounds too good to be true. It's like Wonderwoman and Superman had a memory baby together.
  9. jasonkaler said:
    So lets get this right. It's...
    Faster than DRAM, - possibly faster than CPU cache
    More heat tolerant than just about anything
    Longer life than any current SSD technology, with permanent storage
    Can be produced in current CMOS fabs
    "DDR4 interface...constrains the performance " so it will have much higher timings.

    This all sounds too good to be true. It's like Wonderwoman and Superman had a memory baby together.

    I suspect price and density will be the first two hurdles. I am actually way more hyped about this than the Xpoint. (was super hyped about Xpoint)

    I expect this will be very attractive for data centers if they can up the density.

    also.. "Sorry sir the server melted into a puddle of metal, But on the plus side the data is still intact!"
  10. LOL sure,
    In 2006 (maybe it was 4) Samsung was going to mass produce their 42" organic TVs. Also, there should be like 10 battery technologies in mass production by now that are better than lithium. Most comparatively, in 2014, HP was going to mass produce their cross-bar memory and cross-bar is far simpler to make than these carbon nanotubes sound.
    I'll eat my hat if I see any nanotube product in 2019.
  11. Depending on what they are planning, if this heads to SSDs and we start seeing multi-TB SSDs at a reasonable cost - it could be the end of HDDs as we know it. I would love to have a 4TB storage drive of this stuff, or even just one big drive instead of my current SSD for the OS and HDD for storage.
  12. Honestly, even low density this would be a useful replacement for RAM in stuff like tablets and laptops with the right CPUs- better 'instant on' capabilities than any RAM and SSD combo with much lower power use, and you wouldn't need to swap items from the SSD as often if it's persistent.

    I also have to wonder if it will be possible to replace cache with this stuff on the die, if it is capable of using the same types of high-end lithography AMD and Intel are designing their chips for. On die means it would be able to get a lot closer to that ideal response time, and even 16gb of nonvolatile memory directly attached to the processor seems like a very sweet setup. Even if that doesn't work, based on how small Skylake's actual silicon is, there's room on the PCB for quite a bit under the heat sink and very low travel distance to the CPU.
  13. Zincorium said:
    I also have to wonder if it will be possible to replace cache with this stuff on the die, if it is capable of using the same types of high-end lithography AMD and Intel are designing their chips for. On die means it would be able to get a lot closer to that ideal response time
    Not only that, but since it's nonvolatile, I'm guessing there'll be power savings, as well. Years ago, I read that some mobile chips periodically flush their cache, so they can save on power (perhaps when the core goes idle, I'm guessing).
  14. Discorama said:
    LOL sure,
    In 2006 (maybe it was 4) Samsung was going to mass produce their 42" organic TVs. Also, there should be like 10 battery technologies in mass production by now that are better than lithium. Most comparatively, in 2014, HP was going to mass produce their cross-bar memory and cross-bar is far simpler to make than these carbon nanotubes sound.
    I'll eat my hat if I see any nanotube product in 2019.


    One of those teks used carbon nano-tubes too.
  15. Wow. I need to live longer. Thanks for the article.
  16. Wow. I need to live longer. Thanks for the article.
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