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Flexible memory brings bendable smartphones one step closer

A new graphene oxide-based memory looks set to replace flash memory as the storage solution of choice in a new "golden age of electronics".

Published onApril 8, 2017

A cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional flash storage is here: ultra high-speed, incredibly small, high capacity transparent and flexible memory. Scientists from the University of Exeter have presented a paper detailing the development of the new graphene-based storage solution, promising it could “pave the way for a future golden age of electronics”.

The Age of Graphene and how it will transform our mobile experiences

The new memory looks to be a perfect solution for use in bendable smartphones and smart clothing and could completely displace current flash memory in electronics if it is scalable with high yields. The researchers state the memory is cheaper and more adaptable than flash memory with “excellent endurance and retention performance”.

As the lead author of the paper, professor David Wright, notes, “Using graphene oxide to produce memory devices has been reported before, but they were typically very large, slow, and aimed at the ‘cheap and cheerful’ end of the electronics goods market. Our hybrid graphene oxide-titanium oxide memory is, in contrast, just 50 nanometers long and 8 nanometers thick and can be written to and read from in less than five nanoseconds.”

As with most developments like this, we could be waiting for several years before it ever makes it to the mass market, but it certainly sounds promising. With flexible smartphones right around the corner and even flexible li-ion batteries now available, you can bet the likes of Samsung and other major suppliers of memory will be investing in the new technique in the very near future.