Move over flash: Here comes phase-change memory

Researchers plan to demonstrate a SSD that uses phase-change memory next week

University of California, San Diego researchers next week plan to demonstrate a solid state storage device that uses phase-change memory to blow away traditional hard drives and even newer flash drives.

The Moneta system, which will be shown at the Design Automation Conference (DAC 2011) in San Diego, is thousands of times faster than a convention hard drive and up to seven times faster than flash memory drives according to the student-faculty research team.

MORE ON NETWORK RESEARCH: Follow our Alpha Doggs blog, Facebook page and Twitter account

The phase-change memory used in the device stores data in the glass-like structure of a metal alloy called chalcogenide that changes states as atoms are rearranged. Like flash memory used in everything from laptops to iPads, PCM involves no moving parts, according to the university.

Moneta uses first-generation PCM chips from Micron Technology and can read big chunks of data at up to 1.1GB per second in an energy efficient way.

"As a society, we can gather all this data very, very quickly – much faster than we can analyze it with conventional, disk-based storage systems," said Steven Swanson, professor of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the Non-Volatile Systems Lab (NVSL), in a statement.  "Phase-change memory-based solid state storage devices will allow us to sift through all of this data, make sense of it, and extract useful information much faster. It has the potential to be revolutionary."

Swanson says he hopes to build a second generation Moneta device in the next six to nine months, and foresees commercial products within a few years. Work needs to be done on the software front to cope with the new hardware, he says.

PCM has been under investigation for years by chip and storage companies such as IBM, Intel, Infineon and Micron. Samsung last year announced it was putting PCM for smartphones in a chip package.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags FacebooktwitterData Centerhardware systemsnetwork storagemicron technologyphase-change memoryUniversity of CaliforniaConfiguration / maintenanceSan Diego

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Brown

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?