Transparent memory “will lead to see-through devices”
Korean researchers have created transparent RAM chips that could one day lead to see-through mobile phones and MP3 players.
The fully transparent resistive random access memory (TRRAM) is the world’s first see-through memory chip.
Designed by engineers at Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the memory stores data on a layer of metal oxide film, which is connected to transparent indium tin oxide electrodes.
The Korean team claims the memory is capable of storing data for up to 10 years, giving comparable longevity to today’s flash memory.
“It is a new milestone of transparent electronic systems,” says researcher Jung-Won Seo. “By integrating TRRAM devices with other transparent electronic components, we can create a totally see-through embedded electronic system.”
The Koreans will need to work their magic on other components – such as the processor – before devices become fully transparent, however.
The team claim the memory could be ready for commercial rollout within 3-4 years. “We are sure that TRRAM will become one of alternative devices to current CMOS-based flash memory in the near future after its reliability is proven and once any manufacturing issues are solved,” says Professor Jae-Woo Park.