NEC Creates Revolutionary, Spintronics Memory Cell

Japanese IT giant NEC Corporation announced that it has come up with the first ever memory cell which is both as non-volatile as Flash and as quick as RAM.

The company revealed that the new technology was developed in collaboration with Japan’s Tohoku University, and also that it is based on the spintronics technology.

Apparently, the new NEC memory cell sets the spin of the electrons flowing though it in order to store a bit. The spin characteristics can be retained even when there is a power cut in the cell, which ensures that the data is also retained.

However, the most highlighting aspect according to the company is the fact that when powered on, the stored value in the NEC cell can be read within 5 ns, which is equivalent to what 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM usually offers. The overall power consumption by the cell is 9.4mW while operating.

NEC is yet to clarify on the writing speed of data value. Also, it will be wrong to assume that the new offering by NEC is comparable to any ordinary RAM cell, as it is actually a CAM unit (Content Addressable Memory).

Spintronics is arguably an early form of quantum mechanics, a type of computing that uses quantum states to perform calculations many orders of magnitude faster than traditional processors. This is arguable because spintronics is used for memory, not for computation.