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New superfast silver, platinum-based drive destined for your smartphone

Crossbar Inc of Santa Clara, California is one of pioneers of the technology

The Silver Institute in its latest newsletter takes a look at how silver-based memory for use in consumer electronics and computers could one day replace the ubiquitous flash drive found in everything from large data centres to thumb drives.

According to the organization Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAMs or  RRAMs) could become commercially available as soon as next year and is likely to over time replace flash drives currently found in all smart phones, tablets and many laptop computers.

ReRAMS operate like tiny battery cells and store data through changes in the electrical resistance of the cell and “although there are different types of ReRAMs, those using silver ions show excellent promise, according to industry officials:”

ReRAMs hold advantages over conventional flash drives. Because ReRAMs use so little power – in the nanowatt range compared to hundreds of milliwatts for flash drives – they could allow your smartphone to operate up to a week without recharging.

A ReRAM chip the size of a postage stamp can hold a terabyte of data, enough to store 250 high-definition movies. Information is written to ReRAMs faster, nanoseconds compared to milliseconds for flash drives. ReRAMS also last longer; they are able to handle millions of rewrites compared to flash drives that fail after about 10,000 rewrites.

Click here for more from the Silver Institute August 2013 newsletter.