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Shanghai scientists pioneer new data storage tech

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-10 10:34

Shanghai scientists have invented the world's groundbreaking third type of storage technology with two-dimensional semiconductors, solving the problem of acquiring both data writing speed and nonvolatile memories in semiconducting storage.

This new storage technology may largely reduce the power consumption of storage for supercomputers and allow data stored in the disks to be valid for only a certain period of time before disappearing, said researchers from the Shanghai-based Fudan University.

A paper about their research was published on the website of the United Kingdom-based Nature Nanotechnology on Tuesday.

According to Zhang Wei, a leading researcher on the team, there are so far two storage technologies in the field of semiconducting storage.

"One is volatile storage, such as the internal memory bank in our computers. It features fast data writing speed, but the data stored inside is all lost when the computer is turned off. The other is nonvolatile storage such as flash discs, where the data stored inside can be effective for up to 10 years, but its speed of data writing and retention is poor," said Zhang, who is executive director of the School of Microelectronics of Fudan University.

But the new storage technology meets both requirements of nonvolatile memories and the speed of data writing, which is roughly 10,000 times faster than current flash discs, Zhang said.

Moreover, with the new technology, the storage duration of each disc can be tailor-made from 10 seconds to 10 years, to solve the contradiction of data transmission and security in some special application scenarios.

"People in the future may receive a disc in which the data is only effective for, say, three days, which elevates the security of the information," said Zhang.

"People can also have tailor-made flash drives with the new storage technology. The data stored inside will be regularly emptied at an appointed time," he said.

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