IBM unveils new memory tech

Researcher with computers

IBM has unveiled a breakthrough memory technology which it claims betters the performance of Flash by a factor of 100.

Phase Change Memory (PCM) is not only faster than Flash but it's more reliable too, Big Blue has claimed, adding it won't lose data due in the event of a power outage.

Another appealing advantage, according to IBM, is the fact PCM enables computers and servers to boot instantaneously as well as improving performance.

The technology is capable of enduring at least 10 million write cycles - a huge leap from current enterprise level Flash at 30,000 cycles.

"As organisations and consumers increasingly embrace cloud computing models and services, whereby most of the data is stored and processed in the cloud, ever more powerful and efficient, yet affordable storage technologies are needed," said Dr. Haris Pozidis, manager of IBM Research's Memory and Probe Technologies arm.

"By demonstrating a multi-bit phase-change memory technology which achieves for the first time reliability levels akin to those required for enterprise applications, we made a big step towards enabling practical memory devices based on multi-bit PCM."

The new technology could be seen primarily as a boon for enterprise-level and high-performance data storage at a time when some industry commentators have expressed concern that current storage technology and infrastructure was nearing a plateau in terms of advancement.

"With a combination of speed, endurance, non-volatility and density, PCM can enable a paradigm shift for enterprise IT and storage systems within the next five years," IBM added.