back to article Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture?

IBM has demonstrated a 3-bit Phase-Change Memory chip with IBM Zurich researcher Dr. Haris Pozidis talking about it in a YouTube video and not mentioning 3D XPoint once. The idea is to counter the relatively high cost of PCM chips by giving them 3 bits per cell, TLC or triple-level cells, instead of just one - clever. This …

  1. returnofthemus

    Who exactly is going to manufacture?

    Although somewhat premature, there is no clear delineation, not only does the OpenPOWER Foundation sport many suitable candidates, initial FlashSystem iterations incorporated SLC from Toshiba, then moved to eMLC in collaboration with Micron to create FlashCore Technology of which the Micron variant is called FortisGate.

    So just because 3D+P is a joint Intel/Micron thing doesn't necessarily rule Micron out of the equation, as your sister publication reports Micron is free to sell 3D+P to whomever, I don't see Micron as the type of company to cut off it's nose to spite it's face, it's in the business of selling memory.

  2. luis river

    all wapourware

    All new NVM of Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Samsung, Crossbar, Hynix, Toshiba, etc all, repeat all, "Wapourware"

  3. JeffyPoooh

    Misnomer -> TLC or triple-level cells

    Since it's 3 bits per cell, it's actually 8-level cells ("8LC"). It's not 'triple level'.

    The fact that somebody misnomered "TLC" and "triple level" is clear evidence that they're not thinking clearly.

    I hope that they realize that they don't need to stick to levels in power-of-two steps, and they could actually use honest Triple (3) Level Cells (3 states per cell), giving 1.585 bits per cell. Yes, it'd need a digital circuit to organize the bits. Perhaps easier than struggling with 8-level analog circuitry. Trade off of course, finicky circuit and speed vice density.

    Breaking away from power-of-two thinking will become essential for the next step. 10LC is a good next step on the way to 16LC (four bits per cell).

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Misnomer -> TLC or triple-level cells

      Could be worse. Literal SLC can only store zeroes.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Misnomer -> TLC or triple-level cells

        Literal SLC can only store zeroes.

        It's not a problem. You just socket them in pairs, with the other one wired backward so it only stores ones. Then you use one chip for your zeroes and the other for your ones.

        It's those pesky No Level Cell chips that are hard to use.

  4. MondoMan
    Thumb Up

    Best article I've read here in a while!

    Not too dumbed-down, useful background info added, handy run-down of the commercial implications and positioning. Good job!

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: Best article I've read here in a while!

      Agreed. Last article I read was unabashed marketing fluff. At least this one had some meat I could chew on.

  5. Geoff Johnson

    So where's my PCM SLC drive?

    Look we've made our unobtainable chips better.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Productised? PRODUCTISED?

    Must remember that word for when I hear my manager chatting shit at the next meeting.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: What???

      We live in very odd times. Both science and technology are moving ahead at near science fiction speed, but the average person is getting dumber by the minute.

      As the old saying goes, this will not end well.

      Good article though. Very rarely do I want to do more research from just reading an article. This was one of those times I did.

    2. JohnMartin

      Re: What???

      They had to more performantize and densify them before they could be productised

    3. CRConrad

      FAIL yourself.

      "Productised" is a perfectly cromulent word.

      It means made into a product; developed from theoretical invention into something actually (technically, profitably) producable. As in "That one thing that was productised last year, we produce thousands of it each day now."

      There, now go off on a rant about "producable", whydoncha.

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