Infineon designs smallest nonvolatile flash memory chip

Scientists at German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies have developed what they claim to be the world's smallest nonvolatile flash memory cell.

The new memory cell, measuring 20 nanometers or approximately 5,000 times thinner than a human hair, could lead to the availability of memory chips with a capacity of 32G bits, which is eight times the capacity of chips currently available on the market, Infineon said Thursday.

Details about the new flash memory breakthrough were presented at the International Electron Devices Meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in San Francisco.

Nonvolatile flash memory chips are becoming increasingly popular as mass storage media for devices such as digital cameras, camcorders and USB (Universal Serial Bus) sticks.

The most advanced nonvolatile flash memory devices available today, according to Infineon, are able to permanently store one or two bits of information per memory cell without a supply of voltage. Such devices are about 90 nms in size. Efforts to shrink them have proven difficult due to nanoscale physical effects.

Infineon scientists overcame this challenge by creating a three-dimensional structure with a fin for the transistor that acts as the heart of the memory cell, the Munich-based semiconductor manufacturer said. The special geometry minimizes unwanted effects and significantly improves electrostatic control, compared to today's flat transistors.

The Infineon device, called Fin Field Effect Transistor, stores the electrons that carry the information in a nitride layer, the company said. This layer lies electrically isolated between the silicon fin and the gate electrode. The fin, which is 8 nms thin, is controlled by the 20 nanometer-side gate electrode.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?