Within this relentless quest to find the next big breakthrough in storage, there have been important projects that seek precisely to have a new method for storing data that is fast, affordable, efficient, high-capacity, out of which emerged developments such as the quartz discs, the synthetic DNA of Microsoft, and memory 3D Xpoint Intel.
Today it has announced a major new development that would put us to a new way of encoding data in memory phase change, also known as PRAM or simply PCM, allowing us to have a type of non – volatile memory cycles life live longer and also much faster than Flash memory.
Replace the SSD and RAM in a single memory?
This new development has been presented by IBM and unites the best of Flash memory and RAM in a single component, which aims to replace in the near future, as it will offer non-volatility of Flash, but with the
speed of RAM, which could create extremely fast cache memory for a smartphone, which would even allow us to store the entire operating system in PCM and thus have a working device in just seconds.
This system is based on an amorphous structure and a crystalline state of the PCM, which allows us to store data depending on the applied voltage, i.e. with high voltage we have “1” while low voltage is present the “0”, but IBM has found that heating materials can have access to more states and not just “on” and “off” so that has figured out how to track and encode these variants, allowing read and store up 3 bits of data per cell, something never seen before.
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This will have memories up to 50 times faster than the Flash storage, even matching the speed of RAM, but not its price, plus it can withstand more than 10,000 cycles of recording, i.e. three times more than the Flash, and it is not volatile, so you will not lose data if you stop having energy.
Of course we are looking at a project in early stage of development, however IBM are convinced that this could mean a radical change in how we use memory for data storage.