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IBM develops a new kind of phase-change memory (PCM)

This innovation reportedly provides read/write speeds 100 times faster than Flash

In a press release titled ”IBM Scientists Demonstrate Memory Breakthrough for the First Time”, International Business Machines (IBM) announced today a new kind of phase-change memory. The publication of this innovation comes just a few weeks after the US company celebrated its 100th anniversary and enables a “paradigm shift for enterprise IT and storage systems, including cloud computing by 2016”.

According to the press release, for a long time now scientists have been searching for a universal, non-volatile memory technology that outperforms Flash. Apparently, by employing advanced modulation techniques, the engineers at IBM  managed to overcome the issue of short-term drift in multi-bit PCM. In other words, they succeeded in preventing the technology of increasing its electrical resistance over time, which in the past lead to read errors.

Furthermore, the same engineers prevailed over another former obstacle: each alloy cell was able to store only a single bit of data, whereas now the new PCM demonstrates reliable multi-bit potential.

The new technology is reportedly much cheaper than Flash, it is also capable of surviving about 10 million write-cycles and can be integrated into all kinds of electronic devices, including notebooks and tablets.


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Ivan Zhekov, 2011-07- 1 (Update: 2012-05-26)