Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Microchip Design Could Be The Key To Expanding Mobile Phone Memory

Date:
September 10, 2005
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Mobile phones could one day have the memory capacity of a desktop computer thanks to a microchip that mimics the functioning of the brain, scientists report today (9 September) in the journal Science.

Mobile phones could one day have the memory capacity of a desktopcomputer thanks to a microchip that mimics the functioning of thebrain, scientists report today (9 September) in the journal Science.

Related Articles


Researchers from Imperial College London, Durham University and theUniversity of Sheffield say their new computer chip design will enablelarge amounts of data to be stored in small volumes by using a complexinterconnected network of nanowires, with computing functions anddecisions performed at the nodes where they meet -- a similar approachto neurons and axons in the brain.

Currently the memory chips of mobile phones have a very limitedcapacity, making it impossible to store the videos that the newgeneration of phones can record. Electronics firms have been looking atminiature hard drive disks as a possible solution but so far the highexpense of this option has rendered it unattractive.

This latest research, however, has the potential to develop achip that combines the storage capability of a hard drive with the lowcost of memory cards, potentially increasing memory capacity by 200times from an average of 500MB to around 100GB.

Lead researcher Russell Cowburn, Professor of Nanotechnologyin Imperial's Department of Physics, explains: "The new video mobilephones are very popular, but they desperately need more memory so thatpeople can take longer videos and store them. This technology has thepotential to transform mobiles into fully functioning video cameras, inaddition to a range of other applications."

The technology is based on the discovery by Professor Cowburnand colleagues that by using nanotechnology it is possible to reproducethe key functions of semiconductor electronics in microchips using onlythe 'spin' of electrons, which is responsible for magnetism, ratherthan the more conventional 'charge' that traditional microchips use.

This has allowed them to construct a completely newarchitecture for electronics in three dimensions rather than the twodimensional flat structure of conventional microchips, an approachProfessor Cowburn compares to using cupboards instead of table tops forstoring goods. He says:

"Traditionally we have used electronics for microchips andmagnetism for hard disk drives. This discovery allows us to combinethese two approaches to make a new generation of 3D microchips that canstore so much more information than a flat two dimensional surface. "

The team is now working with commercial partners to develop thetechnology and is currently building a more advanced demonstrator chipusing full microchip manufacturing facilities.

###

Notes to Editors:

Magnetic Domain-Wall Logic, Science, Volume 310, 9 September 2005
D A Allwood1, G Xiong2, C C Faulkner3, D Atkinson2, D Petit3, R P Cowburn3, 4

1 Department of Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield
2 Department of Physics, University of Durham
3 Department of Physics, Imperial College London
4 Durham Magnetic Optics Ltd, University of Durham

About Imperial College London
Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions,Imperial College London is a world leading science-based universitywhose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attractsstudents(11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interfacebetween science, medicine, engineering and management and deliverspractical solutions that enhance the quality of life and theenvironment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Website: www.imperial.ac.uk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "New Microchip Design Could Be The Key To Expanding Mobile Phone Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085819.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2005, September 10). New Microchip Design Could Be The Key To Expanding Mobile Phone Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085819.htm
Imperial College London. "New Microchip Design Could Be The Key To Expanding Mobile Phone Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085819.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins