"Intel (NSDQ: INTC) and STMicroelectronics on Wednesday said they have shipped to customers the prototype of a new memory technology that the companies are pushing as a faster alternative to traditional flash memory.
The technology, called phase-change memory, is being shown in a memory device codenamed Alverstone. The device shipped for evaluation stores 128 Mbytes on a 90-nanometer chip. Cellular and embedded customers are expected to test the PCM features to see whether the technology can be incorporated in future system designs, Intel and STMicroelectronics said in a joint statement.
PCM is a type of non-volatile computer memory that's being offered as a rival to the almost universal flash memory, which has become a low-margin, commodity product. Proponents say PCM devices have faster read and write speeds at lower power than conventional flash. Manufacturers are expected to seek a premium for the higher-performing devices."