back to article Chinese boffins on 3D XPoint: If it works like phase-change memory, it's probably phase-change memory

A team of scientists from China have asserted that 3D XPoint is essentially phase-change memory, which manufacturers Intel and Micron have not publicly admitted. Phase-change memory (PCM) exploits properties of chalcogenide alloy, the internal state of which varies between crystalline and amorphous phases with different levels …

  1. K
    Coat

    An easy way to tell, just use a tricorder

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Boffin

      I can see why Intel is keeping it secret

      The concept and materials are so old there is probably not much in the way of IP they can protect.

      1. Thrudd
        Thumb Up

        Re: I can see why Intel is keeping it secret

        That is the gist of it. All they have going for them is delay and obfuscation until someone is able to duplicate the process at commercial levels. Once that happens they loose their market monopoly and will have to cut margins and executives bonuses as they drop their prices to remain competitive.

        1. hellwig

          Re: I can see why Intel is keeping it secret

          Cut executive bonuses? Hah, that's funny.

  2. Charles 9 Silver badge

    ...a goose with a duck call?

  3. GreggS

    a duck-billed platypus

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Nah, at least a goose LOOKS like a duck. Give it a duck call and you're all set.

  4. Elmer Phud

    Someone had ducked-up

  5. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    How long ?

    Before someone uses an electron microscope on the Xpoint chip to give a definitive answer?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: How long ?

      To be immediately followed by a lawsuit for IP violation, a DCRM takedown and anything else that can be even collaterally used as an excuse to shut down that info.

      Because these days The Truth navigates a legal minefield just to exist.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: How long ?

        Any lawsuit would serve to enhance the Streisand effect so it wouldn't be long before it was everywhere.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: How long ?

        To be immediately followed by a lawsuit for IP violation

        Not in China, in doesn't.

        Anyway, there is no shame in using phase-change memory.

        Or is a Jehova-type thing?

  6. Nimby
    Trollface

    Follow the yellow brick road...

    To be fair to Intel, m-a-y-b-e they have doped-up an old compound in some new way that enhances the production process or the product itself. You have to admit, they do love playing with material science. Such a change could be such a no-brainer that they fear that even with a patent on it, it could not really be prevented from being copied by competitors once known. Or some other such silly notion. M-a-y-b-e there is an almost legitimate reason for Intel to be saying, "Pay no attention to that duck behind the curtain. The Great Intel has spoken!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the yellow brick road...

      SO, let me see if I've got this. It's possibly something inventive and truly patent-worthy, so they decided not to patent it because that's too risky? I could believe that...

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Follow the yellow brick road...

      That seems quite plausible to me. If they've found something that makes a big difference but which doesn't show up under electron microscopy or similar methods, then they might reason that saying nothing at all will give them a couple of years of protection whereas publishing will give the competition ideas that might bear fruit in less time than that and which aren't covered by the patent.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Follow the yellow brick road...

        If they've found something that makes a big difference but which doesn't show up under electron microscopy or similar methods

        This trick works only in manga though.

  7. kamereon

    For American corporations it's good when the Chinese can't reverse engineer something and become dismissive of it.

  8. pneumatic

    Umm... TechInsights SEM'ed the chip a year ago:

    https://bit.ly/2HQppKB

    It's exactly what Intel is claiming that it is not.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    of course it is phase change

    we already had this discussion a year ago.

    tems show structure

    composition shows it is phase change

    it was published multiple times.

    yes, intel lied about it to hide the technology and prevent lawsuits from OUM investors who lost all their money

    Rob Crooke and Brian Krzanich lied repeatedly in public statements... i am shocked! shocked i tell you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: of course it is phase change

      So where are the lawsuits already?

      1. pneumatic

        Re: So where are the lawsuits already?

        The lawsuits are coming:

        http://www.kccllc.net/ecd/document/1243166180109000000000003

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: So where are the lawsuits already?

          "Get ready Intel, because lawyers will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

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