Shalom Life | May 28, 2015

Tel Aviv University Research Increases Speed and Memory for Mobile Devices

Award-winning research attracts electronic industry giants

By: News Staff

Published: July 30th, 2012 in Business » World

Tel Aviv University Research Increases Speed and Memory for Mobile Devices

Though smartphones and tablets are hailed as the hardware of the future, their present-day incarnations have some flaws. Most notoriously, low RAM memory limits the number of applications that can be run at one time and quickly consumes battery power. Now, a Tel Aviv University researcher has found a creative solution to these well-known problems.

As silicon technology gets smaller, creating a large and powerful memory grows harder, say PhD candidate Elad Mentovich and his supervisor Dr. Shachar Richter of TAU’s Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Working with carbon molecules called C60, Mentovich has successfully built a sophisticated memory transistor that can both transfer and store energy, eliminating the need for a capacitor.

This molecular memory transistor, which can be as small as one nanometer, stores and disseminates information at high speed — and it’s ready to be produced at existing high-tech fabrication facilities. Major companies in the memory industry have already expressed interest in the technology, says Mentovich, who was awarded first prize for his work at May’s European conference in the session on Novel Materials Approaches for Microelectronics of the Materials Research Society. The basis of the technology has been published in the journal Advanced Materials and Applied Physics Letters.

Closing the technology gap

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are the computing devices of the post-personal-computer (PC) era, says Mentovich. These devices, which are small and battery operated, are quickly closing the gap with their laptop or desktop ancestors in terms of computing power and storage capacity — but they are lacking in RAM, the run-time memory reserves that computers need to operate various programs. Because current RAM technology is power-hungry and physically large, it doesn't function well in mobile devices. That’s where laptops and PC's retain the edge.

As many as 15 years ago, technology experts realized that the problem with shrinking electronics would be the physical size of the hardware needed to make them run. The idea of a sophisticated transistor, which could do the job of both the transistor and the capacitor, was a technological dream — until now.

In order to tackle this technology gap, Mentovich was inspired by the work of Israel Prize winner Prof. Avraham Nitzan of TAU’s Department of Chemistry, who proved that, due to its special structure, a molecule can store both an electric charge and information at the same time. To apply this finding to transistors, Mentovich used C60 molecules, made up of 60 carbon atoms, and put them in the channels of a transistor, creating a smaller-than-silicone, high-speed transistor that could also do the job of a capacitor.

Going mobile

Mentovich believes that this technology is sorely needed in today's mobile world. 2012 was the first year in which big technology companies sold more tablets and smartphones than laptops and notebooks combined, he notes. "When this new technology is integrated into future devices, you will have much more memory on your smartphones and tablets, approaching the level of a laptop. With that kind of memory, you’ll be able to run applications simultaneously, and because it is low voltage, power consumption will fall and battery life will be longer."

The next step is to find a fabrication facility with the necessary materials to manufacture the transistors. According to Mentovich, the benefit of this product is that with the right equipment, which is standard in high-tech facilities, and his breakthroughs on how to put the transistors together, these molecular memories could be manufactured anywhere. "The distance to implementation is not far," he says.

In India, You Can Buy "Hitler Ice Cream" In India, You Can Buy "Hitler Ice Cream" TrendingWarren Buffet Invests in Israeli Company, Again Warren Buffet Invests in Israeli Company, Again TrendingIsraeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List Israeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List Trending
 

Israeli Maestro Reveals Innovative New Piano

May 28, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Israeli Maestro Reveals Innovative New Piano

Daniel Barenboim also announces new academy to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians

Read More

Ben & Jerry’s Won’t Serve Bacon Ice Cream

May 28, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
Ben & Jerry’s Won’t Serve Bacon Ice Cream

The popular ice cream brand is committed to maintaining the Jewish kosher laws

Read More

WATCH: Natalie Portman Advises Harvard Grads to Trust their Inexperience

May 28, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
WATCH: Natalie Portman Advises Harvard Grads to Trust their Inexperience

"Accept your lack of knowledge, and use it as your asset" the Oscar-winning Israeli actress says

Read More

Friendly Neighbors Save Houston Rabbi From Flood

May 28, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Friendly Neighbors Save Houston Rabbi From Flood

Elderly Rabbi Joseph Radinsky was stranded on the roof of his home when flooding hit Texas earlier this week

Read More

WATCH: Bill Nye Explains the Universe on 'Inside Amy Schumer'

May 28, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
WATCH: Bill Nye Explains the Universe on 'Inside Amy Schumer'

Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson also star on the hilarious Comedy Central show

Read More

FIFA Criticized for Controversial Vote Concerning Israel’s Suspension

May 28, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
FIFA Criticized for Controversial Vote Concerning Israel’s Suspension

The FIFA scandal may cause Israel's proposed exclusion to take an interesting turn

Read More

In India, You Can Buy "Hitler Ice Cream"

May 28, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
In India, You Can Buy "Hitler Ice Cream"

The Hitler-branded packaging has elicited an outcry within the online world

Read More

Site Exposes Pro-Palestinian Students to "Ensure" that "Today's Radicals are not Tomorrow's Employees"

May 28, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Site Exposes Pro-Palestinian Students to "Ensure" that "Today's Radicals are not Tomorrow's Employees"

Backers and members of Canary Mission remain anonymous; several pro-Israel groups have already announced their non-involvement

Read More

More Headlines