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“Memory of the future” will allow IBM to create ultrafast iPhone

C each new generation iPhone become faster and more efficient due to hardware and software improvements. The same applies to top-end Android devices, although in most tests the Apple smartphones deliver better results. Experts of the company IBM announced an engineering breakthrough that will allow Apple to create an even faster mobile device by switching from the traditional DRAM and NAND for faster and more reliable memory of the PCM (on the basis of the phase transition).

IBM developers promise a radical increase in the performance of smartphones and tablets. Presented in Paris at the IEEE International Memory Workshop a working prototype of the first in the industry memory PCM provides the capability of recording in each cell three bits of data. In other words, the company was able to triple the capacity of the PCM chip, not reducing the scale of the manufacturing process and without reducing the volume of the cell. This promises to lead to more widespread use of PCM memory. On speed it is close to the speed of the memory, which makes it a candidate for a single universal memory in the future.

Until now the main obstacles to the commercialization of PCM memory was its high cost and very low density – not more than one bit per cell. This limitation made it impossible to use PCM memory in smartphones and laptops. The advantages of PCM include the combination of high performance, almost the same as DRAM, a nonvolatile flash memory. Moreover, from the flash memory PCM has a more long service life – up to 10 million write cycles vs 3000 rewrites of the flash memory.

The PCM memory cell works on the same principle as rewritable optical disc, only instead of a laser to the cell to the heating of the substance happens with high enough currents. From the applied current will depend on the volume transferred in the cell of a substance from an amorphous state (high resistance) to crystalline (low resistance). Reading — determining resistance of the cell — occurs in small currents. To record three bits in the cell you want to record a complicated 8-level signal.

According to IBM, script memory use PCM, ranging from replacing RAM in desktop computers to create hybrid configurations with flash memory for mobile devices.

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