Feeds

Elpida licenses 'DVD on a chip' memory tech

Faster than Flash, more permanent than DRAM

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Elpida has licensed a technology that applies the same technique used in rewriteable optical discs to non-volatile memory chips.

Developed by Ovonyx, the system, dubbed Ovonic Universal Memory (OUM), uses a thin film of chalcogenide alloy, a material similar to the substance used in DVD- and CD-RW discs. In the optical world, laser light is used to adjust the phase of the material - crystalline or amorphous - at each data-storing spot to encode the binary 1s and 0s that make up digital data. Instead of light, the Ovonyx system achieves the same result with electrical signals controlled by transistors.

According to Ovonyx, chips built using its technology are cheaper to make than Flash memory, thanks to their simple structure and less complex fabrication process. Cells can also be packed more densely, making for higher capacity chips.

Flash's key weakness, the limited number of read-write cycles it provides, is also not an issue with OUM, which has a claimed life of more than ten trillion writes. It also provides fully random access to data. And OUM is faster than Flash, with a performance "similar" to DRAM, Ovonyx says.

Elpida seems convinced. So are Intel and STMicro, among others, which have also licensed OUM. The technology may work at the test cell stage, but it needs much more work to commercialise it; and that's what Elpida, for one, will be doing.

"Elpida plans to utilize Ovonyx's phase-change technology to further explore the development of new DRAM features that will provide the high performance and low current consumption required for next-generation mobile applications," Yukio Sakamoto, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement. ®

Related stories

Elpida preps low-amp DDR SDRAM for portables
Rambus sues four for GDDR 'infringement'
Samsung ships 256Mb XDR chips
Samsung samples 512Mb GDDR 3 part
Elpida offers 800MHz 1Gb DDR 2 chip

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?