mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Techno-Ponzi Memory Resurrected

That old Techo-Ponzi scheme phase change memory  (PCM) refuses to die. Dubbed Techno-Ponzi because it’s a good way of getting an R&D budget or raising some VC money, PCM  has been under development for 40 years without achieving commercial viability.

However it got a boost when someone spotted a PCM chip in a Samsung phone.

 

Unfortunately for PCM-believers, the phone was either a prototype, or discontinued early in its life-cycle, or never saw the light of commercial day.

 

Then, at IEDM, an IBM-er breathed new life into PCM.

 

Jai Menon, an IBM Fellow and CTO at IBM’s systems and technology group, said he expects IBM to continue to develop PCM  IP.

 

“We are very bullish about PCM in the next three to five years time frame,” said Menon.

 

That’s despite the fact that PCM is still rumbling along at around the 128Mbit density level while mainstream floating gate flash is approaching 64Gbit.

 

Despite being very bullish, IBM doesn’t seem inclined to make any money out of commercialising PCM.

 

Menon said he expects IBM would “develop IP and license it out to evolve into some sort of  relationship.”

 

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Tags: density level, menon, phase change memory, relationship, techo

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