Feeds

Micron mass-produces Phase Change Memory

Flash superseded? Maybe...

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Memory maker Micron has become the first firm to put Phase Change Memory (PCM) - one of the possible non-volatile successors to Flash - into mass production. Caveat: we're talking the technology's use for mobile devices only.

Micron is pitching its initial offering at mobile devices, combining 1Gb of 45nm PCM and 512Mb of low-power DDR 2 memory into a single, 1.8V chip, though both types of memory are implemented on separate dies. Cramming memory and storage into a single chip will appeal to mobile device developers who generally favour a high level of integration, the better to get more into small, phone-size cases.

PCM uses heat generated by an electrical current to flip a material between separate physical states. Each of these phases has distinct properties that can be sampled, typically by measuring its electrical resistance, allowing each cell to represent one or more bits.

Unlike Flash, PCM cells are erased at the bit level, not in entire blocks, so the writing process is much faster than that of Flash chips. PCM's write latency is typically 1µs - two orders of magnitude less than Flash.

Read latency, says Micron, is in the 50-100ns range - slower than Ram, but considerably faster than Flash's 10-25µs (10,000-25,000ns).

PCM cells are more resistant to high-energy radiation, making it suitable for space applications for which radiation-sensitive Flash is inappropriate.

Like Flash, PCM has limited longevity, but the technology's proponents claim it operates over many more millions of write cycles than Flash.

Micron said its PCM delivers a random read performance of "up to 400MB/s" and an endurance of "more than 100,000 write cycles". Those stats aren't significantly beyond modern Flash specs, but then these are very early days for commercial PCM. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.