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Hold the DRAM phone: IBM claims phase-change breakthrough

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Donald Herrera
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Smaller, faster, denser - the future of commercial memory?

Researchers at IBM say they have successfully managed to store 3 bits per cell in a chip employing a strip of 64,000 cells at some toasty temperatures and while under quite a bit of stress "for the first time ever".

Multi-level-cell technologies and PCM had been inhibited in the past by the sheer variability of the cells, background noise and changing resistance.

Haris Pozidis, manager of non-volatile memory research at IBM Research in Zurich, in statement called the work "a significant milestone."

"At this density the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash," Pozidis said.

IBM hopes to use PCM as a standalone method or used in hybrid applications to boost flash storage.

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Donald Herrera
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