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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Practical phase change memories finally emerge

Numonyx launches Omneo memories for embedded applications
Newly acquired memory joint venture Numonyx has introduced a set of products based on the long awaited class of memory technology called phase change memory (PCM). The new devices now deliver the higher performance, endurance and simplicity that is needed for wired and wireless communications, consumer electronics, PCs, and other embedded applications. The company was the combination of the flash memory businesses of Intel and STMicroelectronics and was acquired by Micron Technology two months ago.
The new embedded memory products blend many attributes associated with flash memory, as well as RAM and EEPROM, while delivering new capabilities in a single device with up to 300 times faster write speeds and ten times more write endurance than today’s flash memory - key as flash is expected to face significant problems with endurance at lower process technologies.
“Not since flash memory was introduced in 1988 has the industry seen a new, high-density memory technology,” said Glen Hawk, Numonyx vice president and general manager of the Embedded Business Group. “Today, designers have to use different memory types for code storage and execution, as well as data storage. Now, with Numonyx Omneo PCM, they have a simple, one-device solution.”
Today’s product introductions include support for the serial peripheral interface (Omneo P5Q PCM) as well as parallel NOR interface (Omneo P8P PCM). Both take full advantage of the benefits of the new PCM technology while offering compatibility with these industry standard interfaces.
 Omneo P5Q PCM is a 90nm device delivering high-speed SPI-compatibility. The Omneo P5Q PCM combines serial NOR flash memory and EEPROM technology benefits into one by delivering byte alterability, faster programming times and greater endurance.
Byte alterability provides for easier data manipulation and software simplification by eliminating the need for erasing large blocks of data. The over-write or “no-erase” function enables engineers and designers to simplify software designs and accelerate system performance, improving the time it takes to program a device by up to 300 times. The new Omneo P5Q product is able to write up to ten times more data than flash memory by delivering one million write cycles.
The Numonyx P8P PCM is the second release of the 90nm128Mb parallel product by Numonyx. The first release was introduced in December 2008. The first version supported 100,000 write cycles. The new release has been improved to achieve one million write cycles.
Both products are available now in volume.
Because PCM acts differently and solves the unique problems of various segments, Numonyx decided to communicate the uniqueness of our new products with distinctive brand names,” said Raymond Solone, senior director of corporate marketing at Numonyx. “With the new features and benefits PCM technology provides our customers, we sought a product brand strategy that directly connects the value PCM brings to the applications and segments that can take advantage of the technology.PCM is a extraordinary memory technology.”
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