Power will one day be a thing of the past for long-term storage of data, if a team of researchers from Germany has its way.

first reported by E & T, the world’s first all-optical on-chip memory that can store data for huge periods of time without access to power was developed by a team of respected Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and a collection of other institutions in the UK and Germany .

There are not only limited to the storage of information in conventional ones and zeros, and can store it in a range of different countries.

What is this?

The technology used is based on phase change materials that are able to switch between crystalline and amorphous states irregular incredibly fast, and this process alters the optical properties of materials.

Switching between the two is integral to how the memory for storage in the memory goes from crystalline to amorphous and the reverse process will erase the data stored. Both are caused by very short pulses of light.

“Optical bits can be written to gigahertz frequencies,” explained Professor Wolfram Pernice at the University of Muenster. “This allows extremely fast data storage to our all-photonic memory.”

The invention can store millions of bits of data in a single cell, which is one billionth of a meter in size, and even has the ability to perform autonomic computing.

Energy savings

“In memory is compatible not only with the usual transmission optical fiber, but also with the latest processors,” added Professor Harish Bhaskaran from Oxford University.

Despite the fact that the memory is still very much in its infancy, it is thought that in the future permanent all optical memory chip can improve the performance of computers and ultimately reduce their energy footprint.

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