IBM's Universal Memory - The UpStream

IBM's Universal Memory

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Scott Ertz

IBM's Universal Memory

IBM claims to be building a smarter planet. One way they are trying to accomplish this is through memory development. Now, they aren't doing crossword puzzles; instead they are developing new memory technology for electronics. The new chipset, developed by IBM, allows for writing at 100 times that of current flash memory chips.

If this chipset can really do what IBM says it can, it will change the way computing happens. It is small enough, fast enough and has the capacity to become a universal memory of sorts. This phase-changing memory used as a universal memory could allow for computers to boot almost instantly right back to where they were when shut down. It allows for large data storage for long periods of time without the need for large spinning magnetic platters.

When might we see this technology? Hit the break to find out.

Big Blue believes this technology could be on the scene by 2016. This is, of course, dependent on their ability to mass produce the chips. The problem there is that phase-change memory has been around for years but has had no ability for mass production because of a problem known as "short-term drift" in which resistance levels change and cause data to be lost.

Big Blue believes they have solved the problem, but who knows what might happen when they attempt mass production. It is entirely possible that the only reason the problem is "solved" is because the chips are still being hand made.

For the sake of technology, I hope that this chip will turn out to be a reality, possibly even earlier than 2016. My only fear is that it will turn out to be more like IBM's Microdrive and less like SDHC.

What do you think? Is this a technology that could change the tech world or a flash in the pan? Let us know in the comments section.

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