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Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM

7/18/2012 00:27 AM EDT
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resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/18/2012 12:58:01 AM
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The problem is there is also NAND+DRAM MCP, and it's hard for any NOR-like component to compete with that on cost at the Gb level.

greenpattern
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
greenpattern   7/18/2012 1:07:32 AM
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High-power consuming PCM + high-power consuming DRAM, that's brilliant.

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/18/2012 1:30:04 AM
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Their previous 90nm product was standalone NOR. Apparently didn't fly, so they're trying MCP like Samsung's NC-PRAM. That's gone too.

nvm.expert
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
nvm.expert   7/19/2012 2:39:07 PM
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What are you talking about? PCM has MUCH lower standby power than a DRAM. For this type of application (phone which is typically in standby) it will save GOBS of power.

greenpattern
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
greenpattern   7/22/2012 1:57:18 PM
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PCM uses very high current density for write, and voltage is not low either.

Gil Russell
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Gil Russell   7/18/2012 3:58:22 PM
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Second source?...,

selinz
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
selinz   7/18/2012 9:11:54 PM
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It seems like the ratio of PCM to Dram is too low. Should this be more like 10:1?

jg_
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
jg_   7/20/2012 3:50:39 AM
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Yes, but this is a first-release part, so they will put in the DRAM the customers demand, and the PCM they are able to actually make... logical to expect larger PCM as soon as {if?} this hits critical-mass commercially.

mcgrathdylan
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
mcgrathdylan   7/18/2012 10:27:54 PM
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Story was updated this morning after I spoke with Philippe Berge, senior director of NOR, PCM, e.MMC business for Micron's Wireless Solutions Group. Berge said Micron has previously had PCM in volume production at 90-nm. He also touted this latest announcement as proof of PCM's potential.

R G.Neale
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
R G.Neale   7/19/2012 12:14:15 AM
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Dylan: Did Micron tell you how many of these 90nm devices in "volume production" were actually shipped and sold? More importantly how many product design- in wins were achieved? "Proof of PCM's potential" I think PCM potential has been there for fifty years-for PCM realization of potential is the name of the game, with PCM devices that are competitive in price, performance and reliability.

Jame77
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Jame77   7/18/2012 10:42:12 PM
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Waiting for the "PCM is a techno-ponzi" guy to chime in.

mcgrathdylan
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
mcgrathdylan   7/18/2012 11:14:14 PM
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I know. I have kind of been waiting to hear from Volatile Memory on this, too.

Volatile Memory
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Volatile Memory   7/19/2012 2:36:18 PM
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dylan: Why wait? Didn't you see the DRAM in the chip? PCM was supposed to replace both DRAM and NOR - why do you now need to add DRAM in the MCP? Please enlighten us! No commercial product is using Micron's "volume" product, and none will ever will. The reasons have been explained to you numerous times. Oh, and by the way, after Ovonyx goes bankrupt this year, it will all become clear to you.

R G.Neale
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
R G.Neale   7/18/2012 11:53:28 PM
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In a comment added to my piece published July 2010 http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4205010/Phase-change-memory-rebuttal a reader cited a quote from Samsung “…Memory for portable consumer devices today is at a major turning point as mobile applications increasingly require more diverse memory technology,” said Jun Dong-soo, an executive vice president at Samsung Electronics. “The launch of our PRAM in an advanced MCP solution for the replacement of 40 nm-class and finer geometry NOR meets this need head-on,” he said...." The results of that head-on collision may have some relevance to Micron as they proceed along what appears to be the same road. For the new PCM I assume and hope “availability” means the 1G-bit MCP is fully qualified and with an associated data sheet. The write/erase lifetime cited for this 1 G-bit 45nm MCP device is given as 100,000 cycles, whereas Micron’s prediction for w/e cycle lifetime at 45nm was 10E9 cycles. This was discussed in http://www.eetimes.com/design/memory-design/4210054/PCM-Scalability-The-Myth--Part-2-?pageNumber=0 All things being equal, it may be churlish to describe this is anything but PCM progress; representing a scaling holding point until, and if, the very difficult PCM scaling problems ever get solved. My view is unless Micron can in short order get a scaled 8G-bit PCM in the MCP or their Cube (or even a multi-chip based 8G-bit PCM) they will suffer the same fate as the Samsung MCP-PCM. So continuing the road analogy above we hope they have their seat belts on.

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   7/19/2012 3:16:40 AM
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Mr. Neale, What do you think about the U of Penn research announced in June: "Now we have shown that there is a way to achieve this transition without melting the material," Agarwal said. "We show that short electrical pulses of a few hundred nanosecond duration gradually induce disorder in the material until it amorphizes." http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=25686.php (I could not find the research covered here on EE Times)

R G.Neale
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
R G.Neale   7/19/2012 8:41:28 AM
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Mr Rbtbob-I can assure you there was some in- house editorial discussion. I am still working through their paper. On the the "potential" NV memory front I am more impressed with the nmRAM (atomically dispersed metal) work from the same University. I have done some scaling exercises on the nmRAM and it looks good. It offers a very low write current but does require a bi-directional matrix isolating device. In answer to your specific question, my first concern was understanding how the sample was physically supported. I think you have to consider the possibility that the material being subjected to the short pulses was under strain the local pressure wave could induce nano-cracks that appear at the surface. Chopping away at the crystal structure with very small multiple reset pulses has been part of the PCM reset technique since day one. have a look at the 100 level PCM work at Stanford. Look under PCM Brain with EEtimes search engine. In that case resolving the actual temperature at the grain boundaries, melting or otherwise is not trivial.It is not clear why this disorder is seen at the surface other than the strain provides a "crack" propagation mechanism. Finally does this disordered material have a glass transition temperature and the other properties of the disordered PCM material created by melting and quenching. There is a non-melting order transition at the glass transition temperature perhaps without melting. More on this later perhaps.

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/19/2012 8:47:13 AM
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Very interesting to me too. I think Prof. Agrawal's group attributed the amorphization to dislocation bunching under "electric wind" which I interpret to mean electromigration. But I haven't read the article myself. Need to go somewhere to get access.

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   7/19/2012 1:25:32 PM
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I am hoping that the mechanism in the U of Penn research is the same as something I read in a research paper quite a while ago. That paper proposed a matrix with most of the vertices fixed, but particular pieces of some of the unit cells come loose. Like a bunch of tiny gates being opened. I have a vague memory that Mr. Neale has observed a similar mechanism in a cell with a very small cross section. I know that there is research being done on doping the chalcogenide with Fe, but I suggest that Prof. Agrawal try their nano-wires doped with Tb and Er. (2 separate wires) That is from another paper I read that reported anomalous results from some rare earth doped chalcogenides.

Volatile Memory
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Volatile Memory   7/19/2012 2:41:01 PM
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rbtbob: I will add to Mr. Neale's comment that PCM's short electrical pulses of a few hundred nanosecond duration gradually induced disorder in your net worth until it vaporized it, as shown in your bankruptcy court letter.

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   7/19/2012 5:32:39 PM
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You are misconstruing what I said about my trading. 4x minus 1x leaves 3x. I do not think EE Times will misconstrue the negative value of our two comments.

jg_
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
jg_   7/20/2012 3:47:32 AM
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"without melting the material," is then followed by "gradually induce disorder in the material until it amorphizes." - That sounds very much like melting to me... so is this an exercise in semantics, or is there some yield/lifetime gain from this new form of 'melting' ?

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/20/2012 8:45:57 AM
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It's somewhat unfortunate their operation voltage is too high.

Kinnar
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Kinnar   7/19/2012 12:26:12 PM
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The PCM needs to primary questions to be answered and solved, 1. The price of the memory and 2. The reliability of the product using PCM throughout the globe. If this goes well then I think one can take of risk of using it in the proven designs.

CooperMW
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
CooperMW   7/20/2012 12:06:02 PM
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Price same as NAND SLC Rel equal to DRAM, 10x NOR, 100x NAnd Makes a lot of sense to use this memory Only issue is the temp.. You can't take it above boiling temp. My guess - PRAM is going to hit Ssd market and CPU market earlier than mobile

greenpattern
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
greenpattern   7/22/2012 2:17:01 PM
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PCM won't be competitive unless it can go to 20 nm with NOR capability, not this LPDDR2-NVM mix.

eista
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
eista   7/22/2012 11:46:16 PM
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NOR scaling has stopped at 45nm for a while. Any PCM at a node smaller than 45nm could give competitive edge to NOR at least. The problem is that NOR is a shrinking market.

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/20/2012 4:55:15 PM
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As I recall there was some delay to get this out, it was announced more than a year ago.

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/23/2012 1:34:20 AM
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Numonyx published their 45 nm PCM at IEDM 2009, revealing a RESET current of at least 200 uA.

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   7/29/2012 9:30:40 AM
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Here is another unusual development for EE Times to look into. RIKEN of Japan claims a new switching mechanism: "...Described in a paper in Nature, the device uses an electric-double layer to tune the charge density on the surface of vanadium dioxide (VO2), a well-known classical strongly-correlated material. Thanks to the strong correlation of electrons and electron-lattice coupling in VO2, this surface charge in turn drives localized electrons within the bulk to delocalize, greatly magnifying the change of electronic phase. A potential of only 1 V, they show, is enough to switch the material from an insulator to a metal and trigger an astounding thousand-fold drop in resistance...snip...the research group analyzed the crystal structure of the VO2, showing that it, too, undergoes a transformation, from monoclinic to tetragonal structure..."

resistion
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
resistion   7/29/2012 9:06:51 PM
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VO2 has a metal-insulator transition accompanied by crystal structure change at ~70 C. But isn't this reversible?

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   7/30/2012 11:59:15 AM
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Maybe EE Times can access the Nature article and offer some elaboration: M. Nakano, K. Shibuya, D. Okuyama, T. Hatano, S. Ono, M. Kawasaki, Y. Iwasa and Y. Tokura. "Collective bulk carrier delocalization driven by electrostatic surface charge accumulation." Nature, 2012, DOI: 10.1038/nature11296 http://www.riken.jp/engn/r-world/info/release/press/2012/120726/index.html

Peter Clarke
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
Peter Clarke   8/1/2012 5:08:41 PM
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I believe VO2 is well known for displaying Mott transition which is temperature dependent. I did see the Riken abstract flash by but have not yet had a chance to exam same.

rbtbob
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re: Micron claims first high-volume production of PCM
rbtbob   8/3/2012 12:46:20 PM
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and that leads straight to anomalous Hall effects and rare earth doping. Does anyone have insight or opinion as to whether Micron buying Elpida will provide Micron better access to the research at Riken?

resistion
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Moot
resistion   10/13/2013 4:18:12 AM
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The 45 nm PCM MCP appears to have been discontinued.

Ron Neale
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Re: Moot is 1G-bit PCM now history ??
Ron Neale   10/13/2013 1:16:46 PM
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Yes Resistion the 1G-bit 45nm PCM-MCP appears to be history. Although the 128Mbit serial and parallel PCM are still posted on the newly designed Micron web site I could not find the 1Gbit under products or MCP. Might have something to do with the fact that the main (most likely the only) significant design win was with Nokia for the Asha phone, for which Micron claimed many millions of PCMs would be shipped, a number later modified downwards. The changes of fortune at Nokia may have something to do with the PCM removal. I suppose it is just possible that the target is now the HMC (Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube).

There is one paper at IEDM 2013 "Intrinsic Retention Statistics in Phase Change Memory (PCM) Arrays (Late News)" from Micron that covers the 45nm PCM . This work studies crystallization statistics in 1 Gb arrays of PCM devices. Suggesting that by tuning the programming conditions they can overcome problems of erratic retention due to crystallization variability. They claim to have developed a new retention model, which is capable of predicting cell to cell and cycle to cycle variability as a function of programming conditions. Perhaps the withdrawn 1Gb product does not have the capability to tune the programming to overcome the problems of "erratic retention"

Micron also suggested that their next target for PCM would be 20nm, if it takes as many iterations to get there, as it did for the 1Gb as well as including all new materials and operating conditions that papers at IEDM 2013 are now suggesting will solve PCM problems-don't hold your breath.

 

resistion
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Re: Moot ??
resistion   1/28/2014 9:48:35 AM
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I was just checking the Micron product page. Now even the original 90 nm PCM is no longer there. Phase change memory completely gone from Micron product list.

http://www.micron.com/products#products

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