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IBM Announces Phase Change Memory- 100x More Efficient

IBM announced today a special breakthrough in computer memory tech that may lead to solid state drives being able to store as much as NAND flash technology but work at a speed of 100x faster than current clock speeds, and have a much longer lifespan.

The technology is based on phase-change memory chips that store two bits of data per cell, forgoing corruption problems (a previous setback in PCM technology).

While IBM wasn’t the first to discover this new technology, it is important that they are working separately from NEC on the project.

The new memory retains data even when the power supply is shut down, this means you won’t get any system errors after you reboot from a power outage.

Now, let’s do some comparisons here. Where as regular NAND flash typically gets 5,000 to 10,000 write cycles in memory, PCM can sustain 5 million write cycles, automatically justifying any expensive cost in purchasing the memory.

What’s even cooler is that PCM can be used as an extension to DRAM (the current type of memory found in most computers). This will allow us to keep the RAM we currently have and install some PCM in the extra memory slots we have (and with the appropriate motherboard, of course).

The development of PCM is extremely important as DRAM is hypothesized to hit a virtual wall in the next couple years based on how we can elevate the current technology. The only major drawback I see is that PCM will cost at least 5x the price of regular RAM, at least initially.

Photo Courtesy of engadget
Photo Courtesy of underactive