We've been hearing about the potential flash killer
for years, and now a team of University of Illinois engineers is claiming that its new phase-change technology could make the PRAM
of our dreams look quaint by comparison. Like so many groundbreaking discoveries of late, carbon nanotubes
are at the heart of the this new mode of memory, which uses 100x less power than its phase-change predecessors. So, how does it work? Basically, the team replaced metal wires with carbon nanotubes to pump electricity through phase-change bits, reducing the size of the conductor and the amount of energy consumed. Still too much technobabble? How 'bout this -- they're using tiny tubes to give your cellphone juice for days. Get it? Good.