Feeds

Numonyx wiggles out of PCM scaling trap

Intel and Numonyx open a PCM die capacity door

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Intel and Numonyx announced a way to build vertical stacks of Phase Change Memory arrays without losing performance.

Phase Change Memory (PCM) is an experimental memory technology that is non-volatile, bit-addressable - unlike flash - and capable of moving to smaller process geometries than flash which, manufacturers say, is approaching a process down-sizing limit.

It works by having the state or phase of a chemical compound altered such that its resistance to electricity changes. This can be used to signal the presence or absence of a binary digit. The compound is a Chalcogenide glass substance which changes between crystallised and amorphous, non-crystallised states when heated.

Numonyx has been working on PCM for some time, as has Samsung. Numonyx has a 128Mbit PCM die whereas Samsung has announced a 512Mbit one. It has been reckoned that Numonyx has had difficulty increasing PCM die capacity, having tried multi-level cell technology but finding that cell access speed is slow.

As announced, the Intel and Numonyx research engineers demonstrated a working 64Mb test die that has an Ovonic Threshold Switch (OTS) - termed a selector - layered on top of the array of PCM cells. They said the demo opens the door to building PCM dies with multiple, vertically-stacked layers, which would increase die capacity without compromising cell access speed.

This demo is probably vital for Numonyx as its PCM development work appears to have been stalled by its scaling problem. It can see its way now to ratchet up PCM die capacity to Samsung's 512Mb die and beyond.

But the demo is only of a single entity in such a stacked cell and the next step is to verify that stacked PCMS layers work as well. The Intel and Numonyx engineers must be confident that this can be accomplished, though. We might hear news of such a stacked PCMS die next year. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.