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Bit Errors

   The bit error rate is not a very clear criterion. An acceptable error rate for one application is not necessarily valid for another. However, one can make a practical estimation for memories. SET memory technology aims at the tera-bit (1012) memory chip. If one wants to operate such a chip for three years (108 seconds) with an average of one bit error one needs a bit error rate below 10-20.
\begin{gather}\Gamma_{\text{error}} = 10^{-20} \approx e^{-\frac{E_C}{k_BT}}
\qquad\Rightarrow\qquad E_C \approx 50 k_BT
where $\Gamma_{\text{error}}$ is the rate of the error causing process. This means that for room temperature, T=300 K, the Coulomb energy ECshould be about 1 eV. Beside increasing the Coulomb energy to reduce the error rate, error detecting and correcting schemes can obviously further reduce bit errors.

Christoph Wasshuber