Seoul, KoreaSamsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has started to ship what it claims is the industry's first multi-chip package (MCP) with phase-change random access memory (PRAM) for use in mobile handsets beginning later this quarter.
The 512-Mbit Samsung PRAM in the MCP is backward compatible with 40 nm-class NOR flash memory in both its hardware and software functionality, allowing mobile handset designers the convenience of having multi-chip packaging fully compatible with past stand-alone PRAM chip technology.
In September 2009, Samsung began producing 512-Mbit phase-change random access memory, aiming it at mobile phone handsets and other battery-operated applications.
See story: Samsung moves phase-change memory to production.
Samsung is not the only phase-change memory supporter. Nonvolatile memory maker Numonyx BV (Geneva, Switzerland), last week announced the Omneo range of NOR-compatible phase-change memories.
See story: Numonyx launches serial-interface phase-change memory.
According to Samsung, PRAM is expected to become a major memory technology and will begin replacing NOR flash in consumer electronics designs next year. PRAM, which stores data via the phase change characteristics of its base material, an alloy of germanium, antimony and titanium, provides three-times faster data storage performance per word than NOR chips.
Samsung's new PRAM-packaged memory combines the nonvolatile nature of flash memory with the high-speed capability of DRAM. Its simple cell structure makes designing MCP chips for handsets a faster and easier process, with the imminent use of 30nm-class and finer process node technology to overcome long-time design difficulties inherent in NOR flash technology.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., www.samsung.com