Boffins at Intel have built the world's smallest Static Ram (SRam) memory cell, paving the way for much smaller, faster, less power-hungry memory chips and processors.
The memory cells, which form the basis for memory chips used in computers and other devices such as MP3 players, measures just one square micron.
Using the cells, researchers built 52-megabit memory chips, capable of storing 52 million individual bits of information, each containing 330 million transistors on a chip measuring 109 square millimetres. They are smaller than a 10p piece.
"The new one square micron SRam cell has established a new density benchmark for silicon technology," said Sunlin Chou, senior vice president of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "This result gives us an early lead in 90-nanometer process technology for microprocessors and other products."
The chips were made at Intel's development fabrication plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.
The small memory cell size is significant because it allows manufacturers to increase the performance in a microprocessor by adding more on-die cache memory as well as increase the overall logic density.
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