New Toshiba Breakthrough Means Low-Power Memory for Smartphones

Embedded SRAM will use less energy than ever once Toshiba finishes its work

Static random access memory isn't something that PCs or other large electronics devices use, but it is quite prevalent on the mobile phone and gadget market, so Toshiba took it upon itself to improve it.

Static random-access memory (SRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that uses bistable latching circuitry to store each bit.

In layman terms, the memory doesn't need to be periodically refreshed, like dynamic RAM, and while it will still lose data after being unpowered for a long time, it does retain it for a while.

SRAM is found in many, if not all, smartphones, as well as the majority of mobile gadgets / handheld devices.

Toshiba is one of the major producers of all types of memory around the word, which means it has a special interest in this particular technology.

What the company now claims is having discovered a way to significantly reduce the power requirements of SRAM.

Through use of a bit line power calculator and a digitally controllable retention circuit, it was able to reduce active and standby power in room to high temperature conditions.

At 25°C, for example, the technology can reduce active power consumption by 27%, and standby power by 85%.

Obviously, this is a significant accomplishment, and will impact on the battery life of phones a great deal once Toshiba puts the finishing touches on the system.

Right now, only a prototype has been tested, which means that it will take a while for practical applications to become viable.

Toshiba, unfortunately, did not provide even the vaguest ETA (estimated time of arrival), but we assume it will take a year or two for anything to come of this new SRAM tech. Milestones usually take about that long to have an effect on the existing landscape, though there are exceptions (as with everything).

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