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back to article Boffins: Our memory film is like your girlfriend - transparent and cheap

Boffins at Rice University have invented flexible see-through resistive memory that can replace flash drives and be attached to car windscreens or device displays. The memory, described in Nature, is made from a layer of silicon oxide (SiOx) sandwiched between two checkerboard arrays of graphene or indium tin oxide, which form a …

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Earth to boffins:

Girlfriends are neither transparent, nor cheap.

If your mileage varies, you're doing it wrong.

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Joke

Re: Earth to boffins:

Maybe the boffins have also discovered cheap girlfriends?

I've always found that girlfriends to be very expensive, (actually since I'm married girlfriends might be rather more than very expensive).

Perhaps if they could find a way to invent cheap ones it would be a great step forward ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cheap Girlfriends

"Perhaps if they could find a way to invent cheap ones it would be a great step forward ?"

Already been invented, they're called whores.

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Anonymous Coward

Why go for transparent?

Surely a non-transparent version of this could be even cheaper. Metal instead of hraphene seems a logical change to me.

And if they can put their SiOx between two IC interconnect layers and still have it work, there's your next gen Flash.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why go for transparent?

By the way, hraphene is even more transparent than graphene - That's why I didn't spot it on the preview.

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Anonymous Coward

Life span too short

"The effect can be repeated thousands of times"

Need millions of times for a viable product surely?

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Re: Life span too short

Not necessarily, MLC NAND flash blocks have erase counts (PE Cycles) from 1200 upwards. The less PE cycles you have, the better your wear levelling algorithms and cell overprovision need to be.

Commercial viability depends mostly on speed and density.

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Re: Life span too short

depends what you're storing. A counter of 'how many times the windscreen has been hit' could be useful for example, or 'when this vehicle last had an MOT'. A programmable RFID tag? Any number of applications for cheap flexible memory.

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@Antony King Re: Life span too short

If you're storing the simple type of data you gave as examples, why do you need some kind of novel flexible memory? The amount of spare and usable volume in a car is enormous if you're looking for somewhere to place a memory device, and currently available 16GB flash chips are tiny.

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Joke

"Less than 10% memory free. Please replace your display"

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Joke

Tech clothes for the Emperor!

"What? I'm not running around naked; I'm wearing SiOx resistive memory you insensitive peasant!".

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Now all we need is transparent aluminium, sorry aluminum!

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Owwww

That's like fingernails down a blackboard.

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I can imagine a windshield on a car suddenly filling up with lots of info, and ads for gas station, tires, etc etc, and you go "gaahhhhh, get that out ! I can't see!".

After you crash onto the nearest truck/wall/pole the display info ads change to insurance companies, body shops, etc....

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I'll go you one better.

When 1) the ignition key is removed and 2) the door is closed and locked and 3) a 90 second timer expires: all of the windows start displaying Google Ads for Stationary Vehicles. GASV ads change brightness to stay visible, but unlike the digital billboards on I-85 in Atlanta, they don't blind you at night.

Think of the possibilities. The personal anti-theft system that projects the image of an Rottweiller. The HOV lane system that projects the images of three additional passengers... the possibilities are endless.

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Thumb Down

Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

How about:

I like my men like I like my coffee -- thick and rich.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Unhappy

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

http://xkcd.com/322/

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Happy

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

I like my women like I like my coffee- ground up in bags in the freezer.

/saidtoomuch...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

I like my men the way I like my coffee, ground up and in the freezer..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

"http://xkcd.com/322/"

Beat me to it, bless you, sir. The laddish, beery Daily Mail style guffawing around here is sometimes a bit repellent, and Clarksonesque.

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Thumb Down

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

I prefer my men to think about what they say and write so that they do it without gratuitous insult or offence.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Lets have more gratuitous sexism.

"I like my men like I like my coffee -- thick and rich"

I'm sure we'll work some sort of anti-boyfriend headline soon enough.

C.

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IT Angle

Re: I'm sure we'll work some sort of anti-boyfriend headline soon enough.

Or perhaps we could all grow up a bit and not do that sort of thing at all? Oh, I forgot, this is an IT website.

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Headmaster

<Pedantic Science Nazi Alert>

You don't put a voltage through something, you establish a voltage across something.

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Re: <Pedantic Science Nazi Alert>

The word 'chest' comes to mind.

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Joke

I already have transparent memory

I forgot the punchline :(

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Re: I already have transparent memory

Possibly you are thinking of that well-known 1st April patent, for Write-Only Memory (WOM)?

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Pint

Re: I already have transparent memory

I ran into a bad case of WOM a couple months ago. A company called me in to figure out why they couldn't read their backups. Turns out that a temporary tech[1] had decided to send the backup info to /dev/null for testing purposes when re-writing the backup scripts, and the Boss liked the speed increase so much that he demanded that it stay that way! The Temp tried to explain why that wasn't a good idea, and was dismissed. When I explained this to the Boss he waived his hands in the air & said "Don't get technical with me, just fix it! I need that data!". I laughed & walked out.

Beer because ... Well some things just scream for beer.

[1] I called the Temporary Agency in question; the tech had documented what happened.

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Why?

Why would you put the memory in a place that would be susceptable to damage?

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Headmaster

Not useful for a head up display

Whenever a display technology that can layer on glass is mentioned, the idea that it could be used for a head up display comes soon after. But it won't work. The key part of a head up display isn't the display technology - it is the optics that allow the display to appear in your field of view in focus. Try driving down the road whilst your eyes are focussed on a streak of grime on the windscreen. The road is out of focus. You can't focus on a display laid over the windscreen and also drive. A head up display uses a set of lenses to focus the image of the display device at infinity, so it appears in focus whilst your eyes focus on the road.

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WTF?

Re: Not useful for a head up display

From the article I read, this is memory storage. So I don't see how it could be at all useful for displaying anything.

If you need to find a place to store data though, it could come in useful. Like in one of the digital picture frames, but I think storage like that is the least worrisome about space/where its going to be placed in most situations and more how cheap, how fast, and how long does it last.

A battery to power anything is going to be far bigger than the device you are putting the memory in. Maybe if you put it overtop a solar panel you can store your data with its own power generator.

How well does it last vs sun rays. My window is out in the sun a lot.

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Joke

If its anything like the cheap girls at the bar

I would want to do a full low-level format on it to get rid of the viruses...

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