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Scientists build double-floating-gate FET, believe it could revolutionize computer memory

Sean Hollister
January 23, 2011
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Look, we get it, you want DRAM that behaves like flash, flash that behaves like DRAM, and everything in between -- speedy computer memory that doesn't lose its data when the power goes off, and lasts for years on end. Well, it looks there's a new challenger about to enter that ring -- double floating-gate field effect transistors, currently in prototype form at North Carolina State University. Whereas the single floating-gate variety is currently responsible for the flash memory in your USB keys and SSDs, the second floating gate lets bits of data stay in an active, ready state, but the computer can also apply a higher voltage to "freeze" them in place. Since the memory can switch between static and dynamic modes in a single cycle and the data never disappears in between, researchers imagine the new tech could lead to instant-on computers and power-saving techniques that shut down idle memory banks. That's the consumer take, at least -- find the technical deep dive at our more coverage link.

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