In the word of computer IBM on Thursday declared a breakthrough in the computer memory technology which is supposed to lead to the development of a solid state chip that will be able to store the amount of data a NAND flash technology can store but this will be 100 times better in performance and a vast greater lifespan. In the current period, NAND flash memory products like SSDs are able to store 2Gbit/sec. IBM has produced phase-change memory (PCM) chips which are able to store two bits of data per cell without any problems of data corruption which has previously afflicted PCM development from the start.
NAND flash memory is used in the solid state drives as well as it is embedded in computers such as Apple’s MacBook Air whereas PCM is non-volatile which means it retains data even after the power supply is shut down. PCM memory does not require the existing data to be marked for deletion before the new data has to be written and this process is known as erase-write cycle. In case of NAND flash technology the erase-write cycle slow down the performance and over time wears it out that gives it a lifespan which ranges from five thousand to ten thousand write cycles in consumer product and around hundred thousand cycles in the products of enterprise-class.
According to IBM PCM is able to sustain five million write cycles. It is said that even if it is possible to flash 3000 times which outlive most of the cell phones and MP3 players it is still that it is not certainly good enough for the enterprise that can do that in one hour. According to the manager of the memory probe technologies of IBM, an organisation or the consumer who is increasingly hold models of cloud computing and services which are more powerful and efficient are still in need of the affordable storage technologies. The team of Scientist of IBM have been testing multi-level cell for the past five months.
The chips are capable of storing two and ultimately three bits of data which indicates that it can achieve a level of reliability that is appropriate for the practical applications. PCM is not only able to serve applications of enterprise and cloud but is also capable of serving an extension of DRAM. DRAM will be continued to be used as the closest memory device to the CPU that is actively for most of the active data but at the same time PCM with its greater capacity can be made into use for the less frequently accessed data. The PCM acts like a repository because of its large capacity. At the time of usage if the data becomes hot again it will be moved back to the DRAM.
Other researchers are combining carbon nanotube technology with PCM in order to create chips that could sip electricity and that could extend the life of battery of mobile devices to weeks. IBM is not planning for the production of consumer grade products out of PCM.
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