Silver is well-known for its uses in jewellery, coins, electronics and even medicine. But, until now, it has never been used as an ingredient in memory storage devices.
The latest report by the Silver Institute explains that the precious metal has started to being used in the developing technology know as Resistive Random-Access Memory (RRAM or ReRAM).
ReRAM works just like a miniscule battery cell and “store[s] data through changes in the electrical resistance of the cell.” Put simply, the “presence or absence of an electrical charge can be used to store bits of information.”
Although not all kinds of ReRAM used silver, those that do have a number of advantages over flash memory, the one most commonly used in smartphones and tablets, says the study.
ReRAm is both more durable and requires far less energy per write than the doomed NAND flash, for which experts are desperately trying to find a suitable replacement.
Samples may be available next year, with a commercial launch by the end of 2014 or early 2015.