For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated reliably storing 3 bits of data per cell using a relatively new memory technology known as phase-change memory.
IBM scientists envision standalone PCM as well as hybrid applications, which combine PCM and flash storage together, with PCM as an extremely fast cache.
Previously scientists at IBM and other institutes have successfully demonstrated the ability to store 1 bit per cell in PCM, but today at the IEEE International Memory Workshop in Paris, IBM scientists are presenting, for the first time, successfully storing 3 bits per cell in a 64k-cell array at elevated temperatures and after 1 million endurance cycles.
“Phase change memory is the first instantiation of a universal memory with properties of both DRAM and flash, thus answering one of the grand challenges of our industry,” said Dr. Haris Pozidis, an author of the paper and the manager of non-volatile memory research at IBM Research – Zurich.
To achieve multi-bit storage IBM scientists have developed two innovative enabling technologies: a set of drift-immune cell-state metrics and drift-tolerant coding and detection schemes.
The experimental multi-bit PCM chip used by IBM scientists is connected to a standard integrated circuit board.
Explore further: IBM scientists demonstrate computer memory breakthrough.