Story 2016-09-30 1WH1A IBM's Phase Change Memory stores three bits per cell

IBM's Phase Change Memory stores three bits per cell

in hardware on (#1WH1A)
IBM has developed a prototype PCM — Phase Change Memomory — chip capable of storing three different values per cell instead of the normal 2. They also developed a new control mechanism capable of dealing with drift (which they say the new type of PCM chip does not experience).

I, for one, welcome our new ternary overlords.
Reply 3 comments

It’s not ternary (Score: 2, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-30 11:52 (#1WH45)

I watched the video from IBM and they explicitly mention that they store 8 different values per cell, i.e. 3 bits.
So this has nothing to do with ternary data.
The comparison with 2-bits comes probably from the fact that previously it was only possible to store 2-bits per cell in PCM (phase change memory).

For example with flash memory there is SLC where each cell stores 1 bit and MLC where more bits are stored, in particular they also have TLC with 3-bits per cell. MLC for flash makes the storage denser and cheaper, but also increases wear.

Re: It’s not ternary (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2016-10-03 18:15 (#1WVP8)

So essentially is this a memory increase from 2-bits to 8-bits per-cell that's still going to be binary, or does that mean we'll be moving to octodecimal data?

I think it's a positive change in either case.

Note, I didn't RTFA, yet.

Old shoe ... (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2016-10-05 10:22 (#1X1X7)

Any decent programmer has known for ages that a bit has 3 states :
- On
- Off
- don't care