Monday, May 22, 2006

US Patent 7046539 - Micromechanical FIFO Memory

Commonly used read/write memory devices, such as EEPROM, store information in terms of electrical charges. But this is not the only way. Mechanical memory storage is another, more ancient way, to store retrievable information in the form of the position of gears or levers. However, mechanical memory storage has, until recently, suffered from the inability to store data at high densities. This patent uses the techniques of surface micromachining to create a FIFO (first in-first out) micromechanical memory. Such micromechanical memory devices have some distinct advantages over the electrical memory devices currently used. For one thing electrical interference is removed as a limiting factor and micromechanical memory is immune to threats from EM pulses, which may be a concern in some military applications.