Researchers at IBM, Macronix and Qimonda are hoping their new phase-change random access memory (PC-RAM) will take over from the Flash memory widely deployed for non-volatile memory in mobile consumer devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, PDAs and MP3 players.
The new alloy, a ‘doped germanium-antimony’, could run as much as 500 times faster than conventional Flash-based memory. Be a whole new world for portable storage devices. And we may see a real-world prototype as early 2008.
From the article:
Working at two IBM labs on the east and west coasts of the USA, the scientist produced prototype 3Ã—20nm PC-RAM devices that were able to switch more than 500 times faster than Flash memory. These comparisons are being made with Flash cell direct write times (NAND ~ milliseconds, NOR ~ microseconds), rather than the speeds available with parallel architectures. Flash data writing rates can go above 10MB/s with parallel architectures. PC-RAM is a true random-access memory that does not need to be erased first, unlike Flash.
Power consumption for the writing operation was also less than 50% that of Flash. The device size is equivalent to that targeted for Flash in 2015 on the industry roadmap (22nm node).
Read more at fabtech…