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Intel & Numonyx Achieve Breakthrough in PCM Technology

Intel is getting closer to its goal of creating a mass produced version of a phase-change memory (PCM) chip with its announcement on Wednesday that is has achieved 64MB single layer PCM arrays within a true cross-point array.

The effort to design the new chip, which is claimed to offer huge gains in performance and energy savings over solid state memory chips currently being used, is lead by Intel and Numonyx and is based on achieving the core objective of small size and large capacity.

Expressing his enthusiasm at the development, Al Fazio, director for memory technology development at Intel, mentioned "At Intel, we see this as an important milestone in enabling a future class of memory where you can combine attributes of memory semantics and storage semantics, potentially collapsing the technologies into one memory type."

Experts believe that the new chip from Intel has the possibility of clubbing the benefits of high speed commonly associated with computer memory with advantages of low cost and power requirements that flash memory offers.

Furthermore, they reckon that the commercial possibilities of such a chip are huge and when Intel does manage to roll it out, it is expected to become a milestone in computing history since it could, in theory, replace both flash memory and hard disk drives.

Our Comments

Somewhere is written the fact that Intel is looking to build an Intel-only computer. One that uses only Intel parts and components. Intel has the ability, as it stands right now, to produce a complete computer without having to get parts from other manufacturers. This is a tad frightening as one could envisage an Intel-dominated computer ecosystem.

Related Links

Intel, Numonyx Claim Advance in PCM Stacking

(PC Mag)

Intel touts new phase-change NAND chips


Intel's next-gen memory closer to reality


Intel touts NAND-killer breakthrough

(Channel Register)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.