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June 24, 2009

1 Gbit Phase Change Memory Chip at the end of 2009 and 2014 for new MEMS Enabled Terabit Memory

1. Numonyx has silicon of the 45-nm 1-Gbit memory internally and the chip is in "debug" at present. "The cells are doing what we expect them to do," he said. The memory is set to be sampled to wireless OEMs in a progressive program during the second-half of 2009, and go into production by the end of the year. Numonyx will continue to offer NOR flash pin-compatible phase-change memory at the 128-Mbit and eventually at the 1-Gbit capacity.

Phase-change memory offers faster read and write speeds at lower power than conventional NOR and NAND flash memory, and allows for bit-alterability normally seen in RAM.

2. MEMS enabled storage technology could provide a storage density of 4Tb/in^2 When this technology is fully developed, it will be possible for a storage device to be reduced to the size of a fingernail, with a capacity of 1 Tb, (20025 DVDs) and energy consumption remains extremely low. MEMS storage combines the advantages of a disc (inexpensive) and a memory card (energy efficient).



UPDATE:
Industry reaction to the Samsung/Numonyx agreement on phase change memory is generally positive

Phase Change memory could allow computers and cellphones to be instantly turned on. In 2010, it will cost about $100-150 [Forbes article quotes Ed Doller, CTO of Numonyx. He won't disclose with whom he's having those conversations, but says the first big market will likely be in high-end PCs and laptops. At this point, adding PCM chips to make a laptop turn on "instantly" would add about $100 to $150 to the cost of building the PC, Doller estimates. ] to add the phase change memory (PCM) to allow for computers that do not need to have boot up time. The PCM would hold operating system and machine state ready to be used.
END UPDATE



The new MEMS, (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) discovery will allow video camera batteries to increase their charging life approximately 2-1/2 times, consume 1/5th of the energy of disc storage and store 1-Tb on a postage stamp size device. Dr. Khatib expects this new technology to be available to the public within the next five-years.


FURTHER READING
Numonyx PCM chips is reviewed by Chipworks labs at semiconductor.net.

Numonyx signed a deal with Virident (startup) to supply NAND flash, and PCM for use as sub-DRAM tiers of storage in Virident's Green Gateway servers. The PCM could theoretically be a DRAM replacement, as it is said to be as fast as DRAM while still being non-volatile. There are several other NAND successor candidates, including STT RAM, and Programmable Metallization Cell memory.

Qimonda had carbon resistive memory, but Qimonda is going through bankruptcy now. It is unclear what will happen with the advanced memory technology they were working on.

Numonyx website
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