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UC Davis Research Peers into Next-Gen Memory

Researchers at the University of California, Davis are working to develop next-generation storage memory that will be faster and less costly to produce and that will have higher capacity, greater reliability and reduced power needs than current forms.

That work is being undertaken by the Takamura Research Group, which is part of UC Davis' Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science. Led by Yayoi Takamura, an associate professor at the university, the research involves using complex oxides to control magnetic domain walls within the wires of semiconductor memory at nanoscale. A material made from complex oxides, which are sensitive to external stimuli, can exhibit multiple characteristics, both ionic and electronic, and therefore may support multiple functions in a single device.

Inspired by the work being done at IBM on "racetrack memory" Takamura said she believes complex oxides "have the potential to provide additional degrees of freedom that may enable more efficient and reliable manipulation of magnetic domain walls." In that IBM work, the magnetic race track is a storage-class memory that has cost and storage capacity equal to magnetic disks but with better performance and reliability.

Semiconductor Research Corp., long a supporter of the work being done in the area of semiconductor research at dozens of universities around the world, is a backer of the UC Davis research.

"While still in the early stages, the innovative research from the UC Davis team is helping the industry gain a better fundamental understanding linking the chemical, structural, magnetic and electronic properties of next-generation memory materials," said Bob Havemann, director of Semiconductor Research's Nanomanufacturing Sciences division.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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