Home Computing Researchers develop heat-proof memory device that help run computers on Venus and beyond

Researchers develop heat-proof memory device that help run computers on Venus and beyond

Researchers have created a new type of computer memory that can withstand scorching temperatures hot enough to melt rock. This breakthrough paves the way for machines that can operate in some of the harshest places on Earth and beyond.

Current memory devices, like solid-state drives (SSDs), can’t handle extreme heat. They typically fail at around 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius). But this new memory, based on a special material called ferroelectric aluminum scandium nitride (AlScN), kept working even at a staggering 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit (600 degrees Celsius).

This opens up exciting possibilities for using computers in places where they previously wouldn’t last. Imagine sensors and other devices functioning flawlessly inside nuclear reactors, during deep-sea oil exploration, or even on the scorching surface of Venus!

The key to this new memory’s resilience lies in its precise construction. The material is incredibly thin, measuring just 45 nanometers – that’s 1,800 times smaller than a human hair! Finding the perfect thickness was crucial. Too thin, and the material wouldn’t work properly. Too thick, and it wouldn’t be efficient.

Testing showed the memory could withstand a million read cycles while maintaining its functionality for over six hours – an impressive feat. This paves the way for a new generation of computers that can operate almost anywhere.

“From drilling deep into the Earth to exploring space,” say the researchers, “these high-temperature memory devices could revolutionize computing where traditional electronics would fail.” This technology has the potential to push the boundaries of science and exploration.

The future of computing might even involve entirely new chip designs. By combining this heat-resistant memory with powerful processors, scientists envision a new era of “non-silicon” computers. These machines could be ideal for data-intensive tasks like artificial intelligence (AI), especially in harsh environments where current silicon-based systems struggle.

This research signifies a significant leap forward. It holds the promise of powerful AI processing on distant planets and a new wave of exploration fueled by ultra-durable computing technology.

 

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