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PCM die found in mobile phone

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:phase-change memory? NOR flash? RAM?

UBM TechInsights reports that it has found a phase-change memory (PCM) die inside the multichip package of a mobile handset from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

The engineering concultancy company said the PCM die is a NOR flash memory compatible phase-change RAM (PRAM). It did not identify the model of handset.

Samsung had said in April 2010 it would be shipping a multichip package memory, including a 512Mbit PCM die in Q2 2010. At the time Samsung was not clear about the process technology in use describing it as "equivalent to 40nm-class NOR flash memory." The process is thought to be at about 65- to 60nm minimum dimensions.

Numonyx, now Micron Technologies Inc., released a 90nm 128Mbit PCM in 2008, which it formalized as the Omneo range of serial and parallel access memories in April 2010. But the company has not said anything about design wins or volume production. Numonyx has been developing a 1Gbit PCM in a 45nm process, but there has been no news of sampling or volume production for a device that was expected to appear early in 2010.

UBM TechInsights has confirmed the commercial availability of a 512Mbit PRAM die, labeled KPS1N15EZA, and packaged with a Samsung 128Mbit UtRAM die in a multichip package in a mobile phone. The Samsung PRAM die is comprised of four aluminum interconnect layers with the memory elements and the top and bottom electrode contacts built between the aluminum metal 1 and the silicon substrate.

"Recent debate on the scaling limitation of PCM technologies, combined with production delays from Numonyx compounded by Elpida's exit from the PRAM market, had left many wondering if PRAM would ever realize its promise as a next-generation memory," said Young Choi, senior memory analyst at UBM TechInsights, in a statement. "The discovery of this product in a mobile application is a clear sign that designers are now open to using this promising technology."

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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