Micron is First to Offer Phase-Change Storage Chips for Mobile Devices
July 17, 2012 7:23 PM
comment(s) - last by
Memory will help smartphones boot quicker, save a bit of power
Micron Technology Inc. (
) endured a rocky 2011, with
plunging DRAM prices
of long-time CEO Steven Appleton in a plane crash. Appleton was replaced by
This year the Boise, Idaho-based company shows signs of bouncing back. In May it
unveiled DDR4 samples
to counter Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
) currently sampled designs. The company also announced its plan to
acquire Tokyo-based DRAM maker Elpida Memory
, Inc. for $2.5B USD.
I. Micron Air Commercial PCM -- an Industry-First
Now the rebound continues with Micron beating Samsung to the punch, becoming the first to release commercial phase-change memory (PCM).
Phase-change memory is a new kind of storage chip, which offers a superior alternative to the tradition silicon-based NAND flash storage. PCM is built on chalcogenide glass -- glass that contains one or more of the chalcogenide (sulfur, selenium or tellurium) elements. When heated, the glass switches from crystalline to amorphous, altering electrical properties. Modern PRAM also adds two intermediate states, making for four-states per cell.
Micron's phase-change memory will no doubt be pricey, but it promises high volume and a slew of benefits. It boasts that the memory will cut smartphone boot times, improve application response times (by cutting latency), and even yield small power savings. The memory is not a major power consumer, so these gains likely will amount to minutes of extra battery life, not hours.
Micron's phase-change memory is incorporated into a 2-chip design, which incorporates both LPDDR2 volatile memory and PCM non-volatile memory.
Micron is offering its PCM as an all-in-one volatile/non-volatile solution, solution that includes a 1-gigabit PCM chip attached to a 512-Mbit LPDDR2 chip, connected by a custom interface inside a single package.
Tom Eby, Vice President of the Wireless Solutions Group at Micron comments, "Our commitment to innovation and continued development of advanced products to address the voracious demands of the wireless industry is clear and strong. We are determined to evolve and innovate by continuing to offer the best-tailored solutions for both today's and tomorrow's market requirements."
The new memory will be built on a 45 nm process.
II. Other Solutions Near Market
The only other driving concern (other than price) when it comes to PCM is sensitivity to temperature. Given the high temperatures found in many mobile devices, Micron's solution will likely face a tough test to see whether it has worked out these kinks.
Micron may be the first to take the technology commercial, but it's hardly the first to experiment with PCM.
), International Business Machines, Inc. (
have all sampled PCM chips in recent years. Phase-change memory is based on the so-called "Ovshinsky effect", a property for quantified and patented by physicist Stanley Ovshinsky in the mid-1960s.
PCM is built using chalcogenide glass -- a special type of doped glass.
[Image Source: Univ. of Southampton]
The technology is similar to Hewlett-Packard Comp.'s (
. In fact, some
research fellows have
, a claim that is debated among industry standard-keepers.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: More useful in PCs
7/18/2012 1:33:00 PM
Depends on the Carrier and the Cell phone maker.
My android was Terrible before I flashed a new rom to it.
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Micron Technology Plunks Down $2.5B for Elpida
July 3, 2012, 9:35 AM
Micron Airs New DDR4 DRAM For Tablets, Servers, Ultrabooks
May 9, 2012, 9:30 AM
Micron Appoints Mark Durcan as CEO and Board Director
February 6, 2012, 9:49 AM
Micron's CEO Dies in Tragic Plane Crash
February 3, 2012, 5:11 PM
HP to Deploy Memristor Powered SSD Replacement Within 18 Months
October 10, 2011, 9:17 AM
Apple Launches iOS 8 for iPads, iPhones
September 17, 2014, 1:54 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
5.7" ZTE ZMAX "Phablet" Coming to T-Mobile Sept 24 for $252
September 17, 2014, 11:50 AM
Sony Forecasts $1.7B "Impairment Charge" Due to Poor Smartphone Sales
September 17, 2014, 9:40 AM
More Evidence Points Towards 1GB of RAM for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
September 16, 2014, 3:35 PM
D-Link Offers Lower Priced Wi-Fi Smart Plug to Remotely Power On/Off Your Devices
September 16, 2014, 2:22 PM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
T-Mobile Launches Un-carrier 7.0, Beefs Up Wi-Fi Calling
September 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
Russian Hackers Compile List of 10+ Million Stolen Gmail, Yandex, Mailru
September 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information