Intel, after recently reviewing its memory technology roadmap, speculated that phase change memory (PCM) will possibly be available by the end of the year. Phase change memory can run faster and be manufactured smaller then DRAM memory and as a result Intel believes it may possibly one day replace flash memory. Flash memory can become unreliable after as many as 10,000 write cycles where as phase change memory can go through as many as 100 million write cycles before a noticeable degradation.
This week Intel privately shared parts of it roadmap for memory technologies through 2008. Revealed was that Intel's progress on phase-change memory, shortened as usually PCM or PRAM, will soon be sampling to customers with mass production possible before the end of the year. Phase-change memory positioned as a replacement for flash memory, as it has non-volatile characteristics, but is faster and can be scaled to smaller dimensions. Flash memory cells can degrade and become unreliable after as few as 10,000 writes, but PCM is much more resilient at more than 100 million write cycles. For these reasons, Intel believes that phase-change memory could one day replace DRAM.