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Stanford discovery could pave the way to ultrafast, energy-efficient computing

Sep 9 2021
Faculty, Fellow, Research, Stanford

Scientists have spent decades searching for faster, more energy-efficient memory technologies for everything from large data centers to mobile sensors and other flexible electronics. Among the most promising data storage technologies is phase-change memory, which is thousands of times faster than conventional hard drives but is not the most energy-efficient among emerging memory types.

Now, Stanford University engineers have overcome a key obstacle that has limited widespread adoption of phase-change memory. The results are published in a Sept. 10 study in Science.

“People have long expected phase-change memory to replace much of the memory in our phones and laptops,” said Eric Pop, a professor of electrical engineering and senior author of the study. “One reason it hasn’t been adopted is that it requires more power to operate than competing memory technologies. In our study, we’ve shown that phase-change memory can be both fast and energy efficient.”

Study co-authors, Kathryn Neilson, is a 2019 SGF Fellow and Asir Intisar Khan, is a 2020 SGF Fellow.

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