Plastic Memory

3857 Words Dec 26th, 2012 16 Pages

A conducting plastic has been used to create a new memory technology which has the potential to store a mega bit of data in a millimeter- square device-10 times denser than current magnetic memories. This device is cheap and fast, but cannot be rewritten, so would only be suitable for permanent storage.

The device sandwiches a blob of a conducting polymer called PEDOT and a silicon diode between perpendicular wires.

The key to the new technology was discovered by passing high current through PEDOT (Polyethylenedioxythiophene) which turns it into an insulator, rather like blowing a fuse .The polymer has two possible states- conductor and insulator, that form the one and zero, necessary to store digital data.
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Memories in the ROM family are distinguished by the methods used to write new data to them (usually called programming), and the number of times they can be rewritten. This classification reflects the evolution of ROM devices from hardwired to programmable to erasable-and-programmable. A common feature of all these devices is their ability to retain data and programs forever, even during a power failure.

The very first ROMs were hardwired devices that contained a preprogrammed set of data or instructions. The contents of the ROM had to be specified before chip production, so the actual data could be used to arrange the transistors inside the chip. Hardwired memories are still used, though they are now called masked ROMs to distinguish them from other types of ROM. The primary advantage of a masked ROM is its low production cost. Unfortunately, the cost is low only when large quantities of the same ROM are required. One step up from the masked ROM is the PROM (programmable ROM), which is purchased in an unprogrammed state. If you were to look at the contents of an unprogrammed PROM, you would see that the data is made up entirely of l's. The process of writing your data to the PROM involves a special piece of equipment called a device programmer. The device programmer writes data to the device one word at a time by applying an electrical charge to the input pins of the chip. Once a PROM has been programmed in

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