Researchers at Lancaster University have created ‘Universal Memory’. The end product of decades of experimentation, Universal Memory is touted as a total replacement for DRAM and flash memory.
Universal Memory capability centres around its ultra-low energy consumption. According to the report from researchers, computers and gadgets have completely wiped out the energy savings from efficient lighting and appliances and, by 2025, are expected to consume 20% of the planet’s electricity. Using Universal Memory would bring down peak power consumption by a fifth instantly.
In practical terms, Universal Memory could theoretically mean computers never have to even boot up or, potentially, the ability for a system to invisibly go into an energy-saving sleep mode between keystrokes while typing.
"Universal memory, which has robustly stored data that is easily changed, is widely considered to be unfeasible, or even impossible, but this device demonstrates its contradictory properties," said physics professor Manus Hayne.
The actual workings of the device are still a bit of a mystery to us. The researchers have used quantum mechanics to create memory which is capable of both stable, long-term data storage as well as high speeds and low energy consumption.
“The ideal is to combine the advantages of both without their drawbacks, and this is what we have demonstrated,” continued Professor Hayne. “Our device has an intrinsic data storage time that is predicted to exceed the age of the Universe, yet it can record or delete data using 100 times less energy than DRAM.”
It’s the complete package, on paper at least, and the researchers believe it has the potential to completely replace the current $100 billion memory market.
All of the assorted patents are being filed around the world as we speak, although we suspect such a seismic change as the researchers are proposing may take a while to actually come to fruition.