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View Full Version : The new RAM -- PRAM or NRAM?


tk102
10-20-2006, 01:18 PM
Two newer RAM technologies to keep an eye on: Phase change RAM (PRAM) and Nano RAM (NRAM).

PRAM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-change_RAM) is based on a special glass that change phases from crystalline to amorphous when heat is applied. It's main advantage is that it can be written to without having to erase the previous contents, reportedly making it up to 30x faster for some operations. The cells are 50% smaller than NOR flash and require 20% fewer processing steps, making them cheaper to produce. Samsung looks to be an early pioneer (http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=192700709) in the manufacture of this type of chip.

NRAM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-RAM) is based on the use of carbon nanotubes that are suspended above an electrode until a voltage is applied across them. This causes them to bend and touch the electrode and let current pass. Nantero (http://www.nantero.com/index.html) is the chief developer of this technology and has begun filing multiple patents. The advantage here is the density -- only 22nm per memory gate (http://www.nantero.com/pdf/Release_0406.pdf) vs. the current best 40nm in traditional NAND flash (http://www.physorg.com/news77205459.html).


Both technologies look promising.

Det. Bart Lasiter
10-20-2006, 01:21 PM
I can't wait to be able to say, "Yeah I've got 8 gigs of phase change RAM in this thing," it sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie.

TSR
10-20-2006, 01:35 PM
ooh, ooh. "yeah, but, i got 12 gigs of nano RAM to boot, along with my 5 terrabyte Phase change RAM..." But, i guess by the time we have commercial terrabyte RAM, we would also have hover cars and colonies on other planets. Not long to wait then ;)

stingerhs
10-20-2006, 03:49 PM
sounds interesting. hehe, something else to look forward to when it comes to spending my hard earned cash. :rolleyes:

Astrotoy7
10-21-2006, 06:12 AM
yeah, I read about these in a tech article once.... interesting to say the least.

Always interesting to track developments in technology - speaking of which:

Now you young-uns can laugh all you like at this...but myself (and a few others around here) are old enough to have used one of these our old commodore 64s - I had mine when I was 9.
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/stock/assets/images/Mach_-_C64_Cassette_Deck_Black.jpg

When a CDs/CD-ROMs came out it was a true OMG moment. Now people burn em break em at like theyre nothin special. When I held my FIRST ONE in 1988(using it in a school computer cd-rom) it was like I was holding precious diamonds ;)

mtfbwya

Q
10-21-2006, 10:36 AM
Heh, the C64!

Man, does that bring back memories. Like the TI99 and Atari 400 and 800. With a 5 1/4" floppy drive if you had a couple extra hundred to spend, and the tape player if you didn't. I used to think those were SO COOL.

That crystalline phase-change RAM definately has a Star Trekian ring to it. So much the better if it could be produced cheaply.

tk102
12-11-2006, 02:02 PM
IBM announced today it's making good headway with its PRAM research team.
http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/12/11/ibm_pram_chip/

"500 times faster than flash, while only consuming half the energy"

20nm gateways. :D (Imagine scribing the width of hair with 5000 lines.) Hopefully they'll be able to scale up the production processes that are required to draw these tiny tiny paths.

XoXoXAlexOxOxO
12-11-2006, 02:20 PM
yeah, I read about these in a tech article once.... interesting to say the least.

Always interesting to track developments in technology - speaking of which:

Now you young-uns can laugh all you like at this...but myself (and a few others around here) are old enough to have used one of these our old commodore 64s - I had mine when I was 9.
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/stock/assets/images/Mach_-_C64_Cassette_Deck_Black.jpg


^what is this again :p?

Arátoeldar
12-11-2006, 03:16 PM
yeah, I read about these in a tech article once.... interesting to say the least.

Always interesting to track developments in technology - speaking of which:

Now you young-uns can laugh all you like at this...but myself (and a few others around here) are old enough to have used one of these our old commodore 64s - I had mine when I was 9.
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/stock/assets/images/Mach_-_C64_Cassette_Deck_Black.jpg

When a CDs/CD-ROMs came out it was a true OMG moment. Now people burn em break em at like theyre nothin special. When I held my FIRST ONE in 1988(using it in a school computer cd-rom) it was like I was holding precious diamonds ;)

mtfbwya

You youngster, try the TRS-80's :p