Phase-Change RAM (PCRAM), Resistive RAM (RRAM) and Magnetic RAM (MRAM)

Phase-Change RAM (PCRAM), Resistive RAM (RRAM) and Magnetic RAM (MRAM) are some of the emergent SCM (Storage Class Memory) technologies used for NVM (Non-Volatile Memory). How do these devices actually store binary data, and how do they compare, performance-wise, with standard DRAM/SDRAM devices? 

Phase-Change RAM (PCRAM) exploits the unique behavior of chalcogenide glass, which is the same material used in optical devices (CDs & DVDs). PCRAM can store the information by the passage of an electric current through this chalcogenide by using a heating element that can quickly heat and quench the glass. Resistive RAM (RRAM) on the other hand works by changing the resistance across a dielectric solid-state material often referred to as a memristor. Magnetic RAM (MRAM) is using magnetic storage elements to store the data on ferromagnetic plates that can hold a magnetization.

How do they compare, performance-wise with standard DRAM/SDRAM devices?

These emerging NVM are very attractive because they combine the speed of SRAM, the density of DRAM and the non-volatility of Flash memory. “Among other attractive features, they offer high density and the low leakage.” (Xie, 2010).

 

References

Phase-change memory (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-change_memory (Accessed: 24 August 2016).

Resistive random-access memory (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistive_random-access_memory (Accessed: 24 August 2016).

Magnetoresistive random-access memory (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetoresistive_random-access_memory (Accessed: 24 August 2016).

Reserved, U.A.R. (2016) 3D XPoint steps into the light. Available at: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1328682 (Accessed: 24 August 2016).

Xie, Y. (2010) Emerging NVM memory technologies. Available at: http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~sllu/xie.pdf (Accessed: 24 August 2016).

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