With the advent of so-called ‘abundant data’ era and the required throughput and energy-efficiency for the next-generation computing paradigm, it becomes increasingly important to explore more scalable approaches for both computational (logic) and information storage (memory) devices. As illustrated in recent research articles and papers, significant progress on emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies such as spin-transfer-torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM), resistive RAM (RRAM), or phase-change memory (PCM), made it possible to replace the mainstream NVM (NAND Flash) and even reach certain on-chip memory requirements (e.g., L2/L3 SRAM cache). This is important, as the energy efficiency of computing circuits/systems has been increasingly limited by the memory and storage devices. In this seminar, a frontier research on the near and long- term potential of emerging nanoscale NVM candidates will be discussed to replace today’s ultimately scaled CMOS memories. The novel 1TnR (one-transistor-n-resistors) x-point memory array with carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNFET) as one-dimensional selection device and thus reduced sneak leakage is demonstrated as a cost-effective and 3D-stackable solution for the next-generation NVM architecture. The Al2O3-based bipolar RRAM cells are tightly integrated with the nanotube to exhibit self-compliance characteristics with high programming endurance and fast switching speed. It is pointed out that the carbon nanotube electrode brings the (lithography-free) critical dimension of the memory device down to a single-digit-nanometer. Another interesting idea of thermal engineering technique for low-power NVM cell design is also presented using a monolayer graphene (3 Å) as an interfacial thermal barrier. The RESET-programming current of the graphene-inserted PCM device is reduced by about 40%, purely due to the inserted graphene as an added thermal resistance. The status, key challenges, visions, and promising applications of the RRAM, PCM, and STT-MRAM technologies will be briefly compared and discussed in the talk.
Jacobs Hall, Room 2907