Intel to start sampling PRAM by the end of June
In September last year, Samsung and Intel both unveiled prototypes of phase-change random access memory (PRAM), a type of non-volatile memory that can offer speeds similar to that of conventional RAM. As EE Times reports, Intel now says it plans to start sampling 128Mbit (16MB) PRAM memory chips based on 90nm process technology to its customers in the first half of this year. The chips are drop-in replacements for conventional NOR flash memory, and mass production could begin before the end of this year. According to Ed Doller, CTO of Intel's Flash Memory Group, the 128Mbit chip has demonstrated 100,000,000-cycle endurance and data retention "much greater" than 10 years. Doller thinks the PRAM "gets pretty close to Nirvana" and that it will eventually "start to displace some of the RAM in the system."