IBM is working on a prototype storage device that should be 500 times faster than flash memory, it also uses 50 percent less power and will be smaller.
Dr TC Chen, an IBM Research VP, said: "Many expect flash memory to encounter significant scaling limitations in the near future. Today we unveil a new phase-change memory material that has high performance even in an extremely small volume."
Most Flash memory used today has a "floating gate" charge-storing cell designed not to leak. Flash retains its stored data and requires power only to read, write or erase information. This makes thememory popular in battery-powered portable electronics. Non-volatile data retention would also be a big advantage in general computer applications, but writing data onto Flash memory is thousands of times slower than DRAM or SRAM.