Samsung Electronics has won PC Magazine's Technical Excellence Award in the Memory Technology category for developing the new phase-change random access memory (PRAM) technology. Samsung announced a 512-Mbit PRAM chip, which combines the fast operating speed of RAM with the nonvolatility of flash memory, last September. PRAM derives its memory capability from its unique ability to switch between two different states of matter — crystalline and amorphous — with each state containing different electrical properties.
The 512-Mbit PRAM chip does not require flash memory's erase-before-write cycle. This enables it to process data faster than conventional flash memory. The company expects PRAM, which is scheduled to be commercially available in 2008, to be a highly competitive alternative to NOR flash memory. It's especially well suited for multifunction handsets and other mobile applications where faster speeds translate to enhanced performance. To learn more, check out www.samsung.com.