Posted by:Shyam Deval February 10th, 2015

We here at BTC are always looking for emerging technology trends in the areas that we primarily work on –Mobile Apps, Enterprise Mobility, connected health, wearable tech and IOT.  We are today in a period of continuing innovation driven by confluence of four factors – cloud, mobile, big data and social.  So there is always excitement and significant challenge in dealing with short-term tactical technical advances we encounter every day.

But sometimes it’s really fascinating and fun to look at real long-term trends and big ideas.  I want to share with you one such idea I came across in a recent piece by CNN.

I am certain that almost everyone who is reading this blog has a smart phone and we all have a ton of data on those devices – photos, videos, music, movies, health data, game app data and the list goes on.  But even with ever increasing storage capacity on our phones, at one point or other we all had to shuffle around the content on our devices to manage the available storage. But few significant breakthroughs in memory design and construction may change all of that very shortly.  One such breakthrough may come from a team at Rice University led by James Tour. Tour’s team has made a breakthrough in RRAM (resistive random-access memory) technology. Their RRAM uses silicon oxide, one of the most studied and abundant substances on Earth, the stuff of sand and glass. And as such, Rice’s RRAM can be manufactured at room temperature and relatively lower voltages compared with other versions that use much more exotic materials.

So why is RRAM such a big deal? Because unlike flash memory, RRAM doesn’t need continuous power and it’s also much faster, since it can be built into more versatile arrays and stacked into bigger pieces. Of course Tour’s research is not the only game in town when it comes to development in this technology. But much of the research in RRAM technology is currently in licensing and prototyping phases to test the viability of the concepts.  If these tests pan out, phones with a terabyte (that’s 1,024 GB) of memory may be about to become reality and they may only be scratching the surface of storage expansion.  And that can only be music to ears of us all mobility nerds.  Imagine the possibilities that this massive amount of storage will open up for even more exciting advances in Mobile Enterprise, Health and Commerce.

Do you know of a big idea like RRAM that has the potential to fundamentally alter the current technology, social and business landscape?  I would love to hear about it.

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