back to article Boffins build Flash-like chip from graphite

Scientists as Texas' Rice University have created a Flash-like non-volatile storage chip technology out of the same material used to put lead in your pencil. Dubbed "graphitic memory", the technique involves placing sheets of graphite between electrodes. Put a specific voltage across the sheet and it cracks. You can use the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps this will pave the way finally phasing out all laser discs, and possibly mechanical hard discs too. If the price comes down enough, I'd expect a future where all media is solid state, including rental movies and software.

  2. Anonymous Coward
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    The mighty crack

    I wonder how many read / write cycles the technology can manage before the cracks crack. I think graphite is somewhat resistant to EM fields, compared to transistors, so I bet the military are watching this develop with a distant interest.

    I think this will be an interesting one to watch and / or invest in.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    Does this mean...

    They still need to check whether it's all it's cracked up to be?

  4. Sam Green
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    "the same material used to put lead in your pencil"

    All those nice people sending me emails about c1alis and v1agra will be enhappied with this news.

  5. Greg J Preece


    Get your coat, and get out. :-p

    Does look like a nice invention though.

  6. Baggypants

    A new, more mechanical, approch

    to erasing?

  7. Lionel Baden
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    i like this

    simple yet effective

    Well done boffins

  8. Scott 2
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    Patent submitted...

    ... for the USB Pencil drive.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Resistant to EM fields

    No Its not! Not in this useage.. remeber EM fields induce current/voltage in conductors, be that wires, pcb tracks or silicon tracks or graphite tracks... apply significant current/voltage to Graphite 'cell' and it heals.. Therefore EM will wipe the memory.

    EM affects any memory that is writen by magnetic/electrical means and also anything that can be overwritten by spurious current in the control circuitry! (imagine a non electrical say a special glass light memory, if an em pulse caused an led to light it could overwrite light memory! even though the memory medium itself would not be affected.)

  10. Pete mcQuail

    May I be the first

    to give a sincere and utterly grovelling welcome our new carbon based overlords.

  11. Eden
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    How resistent is that to being dropped? and if it breaks or your desperate to give someone some data and don't have a PC to hand can you just crack it open and write the data down manually (albeit in truely write once operation)

  12. Dale 3
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    @Sam Green

    Nice word. Well done!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Looks like some nice research

    But I only let her put lead in mine.

  14. AlistairJ

    Nice paper, but ...

    Well sorry to be a naysayer but we already have a highly effective solid state storage system, its called flash memory. This isn't even solid state. Plus its a couple of decades behind in commercial investment to develop the technology. Another irrelevant but nice new way of storing bits story. Yawn.

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