Sogang News

Highlights table
Title Professor Choi Woo-young research team developed ultra-low power turnelling flash memory
Writer sogpr Date 2016-05-11 Views 884


Professor Choi Woo-young research team developed

ultra-low power turnelling flash memory



Department of Electronic Engineering Professor Choi Woo-young research team developed new ultra-low power non-volatile memory device that can overcome the power consumption limits of existing non-volatile memory for the first time in the world. This result was published in Applied Physics Letters, which is the prestigious academic journal in semiconductor material areas of the United States. (Department of Electronic Engineering master's degree program student Heo In as first author, Professor Choi Woo-young as corresponding author)


Existing flash memory as shown in diagram 2(a), by using metal/oxide/semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) structure, it is possible to normally operate when certain amount of voltage is available. This has been facing difficulty to reach necessary power consumption standards for portable electronic devices, internet of things and so on that shows increase of demand recently. On the other hand, ultra-low power flash memory that was materialized in this research used turnelling field-effect transistor (TFET) structure by applying quantum mechanical principle like the diagram 2(b), made it possible to regularly operate with very low voltage so it is expected to apply to portable electronic devices with low battery capacity, with devices that are hard to be charged or applied in internet of things.


Compared with the existing flash memory, this research result can reduce working voltage down to less than 1/4 so it is expected to reduce down to less than 1/10 of power consumption. Therefore the application is possible as listed below.

① The cause of heavy and thick features of portable electronic devices still results from the battery. When using this research results, by reducing power consumption of the flash memory used for portable electronic devices, can lengthen the hours of use by charging it once, reduce the capacity of the battery so this makes it possible to materialize more thin and light portable electronic devices.

② From internet of things or mobile health care devices, reduce the capacity of the battery or ultimately remove it so this can enhance the utilization of relevant devices.


Professor Choi Woo-young announced the meaning of research and said, “This research proved that it is possible to materialize ultra-low power semiconductor not only in non-memory field but also in memory field so will be able to contribute towards strengthening competition of portable electronic devices and internet of things field.”



[Picture] 1 (left) Student Heo In in masters degree program (Right) Professor Choi Woo-young



[Diagram] 2(a) Existing flash memory structure (b) Ultra low power flash memory structure developed from this research



□ Thesis title and author information

- Thesis title: Subthreshold-swing-adjustable tunneling-field-effect-transistor-based random-access memory for nonvolatile operation

- Author information: In Huh and Woo Young Choi


□ Necessity and significance of research

  • The existing flash memory was usually used in PC so the degree of integration and memory capacity was the important technical measure, however, recently as the flash memory is being applied in extensive fields, the demand is increasing in portable electronic devices, internet of things and so on.
  • Application fields such as the portable electronic devices or internet of things and so on faced difficulty to receive power supply from the battery or be charged itself so the situation was urgent where innovative electronic saving method was needed to overcome the limits of the existing flash memory.
  • This research, in order to overcome the limits of power consumption of flash memory based on existing MOSFET structure, materialized flash memory based on TFET structure by using quantum mechanical theory and suggested new breakthroughs of ultra low power flash memory research.
  • Especially, from this research as seen in the diagram 2(b), applied an idea that can partially materialize charge storage area for the first time and materialized TFET based ultra low power flash memory with the best performance in the world.