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Micron Has Phase Change Memory in Volume Production

By - Source: Micron | B 10 comments

Micron said it is the first memory maker to have started volume production of phase change memory (PCM).

The company said it is offering 45 nm PCM for mobile devices in 1 Gb and 512 Mb multichip packages

According to Micron, PCM enables faster boot times and overall improved performance, while providing high reliability and "very low" power consumption at the same time.

"Our commitment to innovation and continued development of advanced products to address the voracious demands of the wireless industry is clear and strong," said Tom Eby, Vice President of the Wireless Solutions Group at Micron. "We are determined to evolve and innovate by continuing to offer the best-tailored solutions for both today's and tomorrow's market requirements." Micron's PCM can be integrated via a system's LPDDR2 interface.

At this time the PCM is only suited for use in feature phones, while Micron believes that the technology will make its way into smartphones and tablets in the future.

 

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  • 12 Hide
    CaedenV , July 23, 2012 4:29 PM
    A Bad DayI wonder how long would it take for AMD and Intel to add support for the PCM?

    PCM only goes up to a maximum ~400Mbps, is extremely sensitive to temperature, and is rediculously priced if looking for the bulk storage requirements for a PC. Meanwhile we have SSDs for the PC which hit ~500Mbps, are not temperature sensitive, and can be found in 500GB and 1TB sizes, with much larger drives on the horizon (compare to 500MB and 1GB sizes of PCM).

    Simply put; the low power requirement makes them excellent for phones and other portable devices which typically use much slower flash memory (20-80MBps) and do not need a lot of space for the OS and applications, but it is relatively useless technology for desktop applications.
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , July 23, 2012 4:14 PM
    40 years in the making and finally ready for mass production :-)
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , July 23, 2012 4:14 PM
    40 years in the making and finally ready for mass production :-)
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 23, 2012 4:20 PM
    I wonder how long would it take for AMD and Intel to add support for the PCM?
  • 12 Hide
    CaedenV , July 23, 2012 4:29 PM
    A Bad DayI wonder how long would it take for AMD and Intel to add support for the PCM?

    PCM only goes up to a maximum ~400Mbps, is extremely sensitive to temperature, and is rediculously priced if looking for the bulk storage requirements for a PC. Meanwhile we have SSDs for the PC which hit ~500Mbps, are not temperature sensitive, and can be found in 500GB and 1TB sizes, with much larger drives on the horizon (compare to 500MB and 1GB sizes of PCM).

    Simply put; the low power requirement makes them excellent for phones and other portable devices which typically use much slower flash memory (20-80MBps) and do not need a lot of space for the OS and applications, but it is relatively useless technology for desktop applications.
  • 6 Hide
    AgentLozen , July 23, 2012 5:20 PM
    Remember that the PCM that Micron is putting into volume production is a VERY immature technology.
    I think it would be fair to compare it to the LCD screens used in the original Gameboy in 1989. Imagine how much different and improved our modern day LCDs are in comparison.

    They say that flash memory won't scale well in the next 10 years and will require a suitable replacement. PCM may be that replacement, but it's too early to jump on the bandwagon just yet. Modern flash based devices will probably be the smartest way to go for quite a while until the reliability and price of PCM goes down.
  • 5 Hide
    mauller07 , July 23, 2012 5:54 PM
    caedenvPCM only goes up to a maximum ~400Mbps, is extremely sensitive to temperature, and is rediculously priced if looking for the bulk storage requirements for a PC.


    I believe you are rather miss informed, PCM chips have been demonstrated at reading at around 300 - 400MB's "megabytes" from a single chip of pcm rather than an array of chips akin to how ssd's get their performance.

    in another example a storage system using pcm has also been demonstrated using PCM chips that was capable of reads of up to 1.1GB's "yes gigaBYTES".

    here is some literature if you are interested http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-features/56363-phase-change-memory-device-knocks-ssds-off-their-perch

    and ofcourse PCM is expensive, its an experimental technology still.
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 23, 2012 6:07 PM
    A Bad DayI wonder how long would it take for AMD and Intel to add support for the PCM?


    I understand that this is a low-power module specifically for mobile devices. Intel may need to support it with their Atom mobile chips, but AMD I don't see the need to support this.
  • 0 Hide
    alxianthelast , July 23, 2012 7:48 PM
    eddieroolzI understand that this is a low-power module specifically for mobile devices. Intel may need to support it with their Atom mobile chips, but AMD I don't see the need to support this.


    Sounds like something to look forward to in a Microsoft Surface 2.
  • 4 Hide
    blazorthon , July 23, 2012 7:53 PM
    caedenvPCM only goes up to a maximum ~400Mbps, is extremely sensitive to temperature, and is rediculously priced if looking for the bulk storage requirements for a PC. Meanwhile we have SSDs for the PC which hit ~500Mbps, are not temperature sensitive, and can be found in 500GB and 1TB sizes, with much larger drives on the horizon (compare to 500MB and 1GB sizes of PCM).Simply put; the low power requirement makes them excellent for phones and other portable devices which typically use much slower flash memory (20-80MBps) and do not need a lot of space for the OS and applications, but it is relatively useless technology for desktop applications.


    Not all PCM memory technologies are so temperature sensitive, IBM's PCM memory is among the fastest working memories in the world, the 512Mb and 1Gb sizes are for individual chips, and no single NAND flash chip is 512GB or 1TB. These PCM chips are also undoubtedly very small if they are intended for smart phone usage, so if a company really wanted to, they could probably make a very high capacity SSD out of them.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/234809/ibms_nextgen_memory_is_100_times_faster_than_flash.html

    IBM's PCM memory is also supposedly very cheap to manufacture.
  • 0 Hide
    AgentLozen , July 24, 2012 8:41 PM
    Quote:

    Not all PCM memory technologies are so temperature sensitive, IBM's PCM memory is among the fastest working memories in the world, the 512Mb and 1Gb sizes are for individual chips, and no single NAND flash chip is 512GB or 1TB. These PCM chips are also undoubtedly very small if they are intended for smart phone usage, so if a company really wanted to, they could probably make a very high capacity SSD out of them.


    Something sounds wrong with that. Are you doing the bits -> bytes conversion correctly? And if IBM's PCM is so great and cheap to produce, why hasn't it replaced flash memory yet in solid state devices? The article you linked also said that this stuff won't be around for a few more years.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 24, 2012 11:44 PM
    AgentLozenSomething sounds wrong with that. Are you doing the bits -> bytes conversion correctly? And if IBM's PCM is so great and cheap to produce, why hasn't it replaced flash memory yet in solid state devices? The article you linked also said that this stuff won't be around for a few more years.


    Nowhere in my comment is a bits to bytes conversion necessary. As for why IBMs memory isn't in heavy production, well, why aren't the many far superior technologies to what we have now in heavy production? Simple. They haven't been invested in enough or maybe they're not commercially ready in some way. Regardless of why, you make it seem like stuff gets sold just because it is superior to what we have now. This is not necessarily true.

    Whether or not IBM's PCM memory will be around for a few more years is almost completely irrelevant to this discussion.