Even if you usually skip over dull PC articles, this one's worth reading. Earlier this week, Intel announced their plans to mass produce phase-change memory (PCM or PRAM) by the end of 2007.
So why the hell does this matter to you, oh searcher for the USB bust-enhancer? From Intel:
The phase-change memory gets pretty close to Nirvana...
PRAM is the Chosen One in a world where volatile, evil flash memory has invaded our homes. That's because Flash memory relies on trapping and releasing electrons to store information. This process takes long 10 nanoseconds, but more importantly, leads to a limited number of read/write cycles.
But PRAM technology works on a the principles of chemistry, changing a substance like chalcogenide from solid to liquid and measuring that state (similar to RW optical media, interestingly enough). Not only does this process take less time at 5ns, but it supports around 100 million write cycles. Plus, Intel is claiming their test models have a 10-year data retention rate at 85-degrees, making it feasible for archiving your pornography.
Unfortunately, it looks like Intel plans to phase in (no pun intended) the memory as RAM, not as a storage device. Tear. We want some awesome
fluid state hard drives. Now!
Intel to Sample Phase Change Memory This Year [dailytech]