Phase Change Memory (PCM) has been in development since the 1960s and now it is ready for the masses, coined as the new flash memory. Intel and STMicroelectronics are expected to make the new platform available this year, in small quantities. So what is the fuss? In a nutshell, PCM is bigger and badder than its flash memory sister.
In comparison to flash memory, the statistics are staggering. The new kid on the block is approximately 100,000 times faster, with an increased write speed from 1ms to 10ns/byte. Flash memory will usually cease to function after 100,000 writes/sector, PCM will be able to withstand a hefty 100,000,000 writes/sector, making it significantly more durable.
Obviously there are drawbacks; the production method utilises a lot of energy and writing data will require a higher voltage input. The pros seem to outweigh the cons and we can expect the first steps to ubiquity will be achieved by mid-to-late 2008. [Uberreview]