New memory technology could replace flash and hard drives

“Flash memory and hard-disk drives could face a challenge from a new chip technology, dubbed phase-change memory, being developed by a group of companies led by IBM,” Dan Nystedt reports for Macworld UK.

“The companies on Monday announced the results of their latest research into the technology, which they say will do a better job of storing songs, pictures and other data on iPods and digital cameras than current flash memory, and could one day replace disk drives,” Nystedt reports.

“Among the advances, the companies have built a prototype device that runs 500 times faster than today’s flash memory while using half as much power to write data to a memory cell, they said,” Nystedt reports.

Nystedt reports, “The circuits on the device are much smaller than those on today’s flash chips, measuring just 3 by 20 nanometres, and show that, unlike flash, phase-change memory will be suitable for production on the advanced manufacturing techniques targeted for use in 2015, the companies said.”

Full article here.


  1. Oh, it gets better than that. By 2030, some of us will have undergone a total face-change, having died. I dunno why that makes me laugh, but it just does. Cremate him and his data files! By 2100 we’ll genetically engineer two aerodynamic portrusions above each ear to house thought-controlled, biologically engineered data solutions – gone will be cameras, media files and players, even the internet. We’ll just plug ourselves to a bedside socket and download while we sleep.

  2. This is the sort of ground-breaking technology we used to see coming out of IBM on a regular basis. It’s good to see they’ve got it – even if they failed to deliver the next-gen PPC Apple was waiting for.

    It’s important because, as anyone who does tech support can tell you, the disk drive is the system’s weak point. With the OS, settings, applications and data, it’s the most critical component, yet the most likely to fail. Anything that can address the disk reliability question deserves a serious look. I’m waiting in anticipation for the first laptops which will contain the OS entirely in flash or equivalent. That will take us at least part way there.

  3. By 2100, your golf instructor will look and play like Tiger Woods; your tennis instructor like Kournikova or Hingis (depending on your fetish); your physical therapist like Pamela Undersome. Oh, the license fees they’ll earn! Too bad you won’t be able to enjoy it by then.

    MW: “under” or over or sideways.

  4. “it’s the 80s so where’s my rocket pack?
    go anywhere, just strap it on my back”

    “eat a pill instead of dinner…”

    from the album Vox Humana by Daniel Amos … the year … 80 something.

    oh the visions of the future that still remain science fiction.

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