Intel has released details on what the company hopes will be a breakthrough in the development of NAND Flash memory chips.
The company said that a joint project with former subsidiary Numonyx had yielded a new, denser form of phase-change memory chip. According to Intel, the chips are the first to successfully implement a stacked phase-change design.
By stacking the layers on a single die, engineers have been able to create non-volatile memory chips with larger capacity and greater energy efficiency, the firm said.
Phase-change memory stores data in small cells of chalcogenide, a special compound that can change physical states with the application of heat. The chips can run faster and with greater longevity than conventional transistor-based NAND chips, and many manufacturers believe that the technology will eventually take over the Flash memory market.
With the latest breakthrough, Intel and Numonyx hope to take the lead in an increasingly competitive field for phase-change memory research and development.
"We continue to develop the technology pipeline for memory in order to advance the computing platform," said Al Fazio, an Intel Fellow and director of the company's memory technology development.
"We are encouraged by this research milestone, and see future memory technologies, such as [phase change memory], as critical for extending the role of memory in computing solutions and in expanding the capabilities for performance and memory scaling."
The two companies plan to reveal further details about the new chips in a research paper slated for release on 9 December.
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