Phase-Change Memory or PCM is a new technology being explored by several companies. This technology fits between today’s volatile and nonvolatile memory technologies to provide features that appeal to system designers who for years have had to work around the idiosyncrasies of existing memory technologies.
PCM is simple enough to use that designers can begin to forget all the strange work-arounds they now must use to design NOR or NAND flash into their systems, recognizing some significant improvements in time to market that often are joined by related improvements in performance, cost, and code density.
In certain cases designers will find it worthwhile to rework existing designs to convert them from flash to PCM. Many designs should also be able to reduce or even eliminate a RAM chip that was once required to compensate for flash’s slow and messy programming protocol.
This white paper goes into some depth about flash work-arounds, none of which are necessary or even useful in a PCMbased system. In the end readers will see that PCM is preferable to established memory technologies by its simplicity which can offer improvements in time-to-market, chip count, software and system complexity, and even power consumption.