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Computer Memory Can Be Read with a Flash of Light


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16-cell array of bits

When light shines on this prototype memory device, it produces voltages in that make it possible to read out the information in the 16-cell array of digital bits.

Credit: Junling Wang

Modern computer-memory technologies come with a trade-off. There is speedy but short-term storage for on-the-fly processing—random-access memory, or RAM—and slow but enduring memory for data and programs that need to be stored long term, typically on a hard disk or flash drive.

From Nature
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