updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon May 4, 2009
Samsung PRAM in June
Samsung today said it would start shipping a new wave of its phase change RAM (PRAM) in June. The technology now comes in a 512MB chip and combines the advantages of both NAND and NOR flash memory: it has the random access speed of NOR memory but can keep data permanently like NAND, letting it serve as storage. Samsung estimates that it can process data as much as 30 times faster than a combination using typical RAM and storage.
The technology works through the properties of chalcogenide glass, which can quickly revert to a crystal or an indefinite shape that lets it operate quickly while preserving the final state of memory when a system shuts down.
The company hasn't named any customers for its PRAM and doesn't say which products are likely to use the technology, though it potentially serves as an advantage for mobile devices where there is little space for both system RAM and permanent storage.