Storage Class Memory

Advances in Materials and New device Architecture improve cost of ownership for high-density phase memory

An impressive 33 zettabytes (ZB) of data are generated every year, with annual data generation growth rate of 27%. This trend affects every device that relies on memory storage, from consumer products to enterprise applications that need solutions that meet stringent requirements for:

  • Data access speed
  • Storage density
  • Durability
  • Lower overall cost of ownership

Storage Class Memory (SCM) occupies a critical middle ground in the spectrum of memory storage, as it’s much more performant than non-volatile NAND flash memory, but not as costly or energy-dependent as volatile memory like DRAM or SRAM.

Within this SCM category, PCRAM (phase change memory alloy) is in the sweet spot, capable of delivering <20-ns access times, faster than typical SCM and can be just a hair below DRAM in speed performance. PCRAM can enable:

  • Higher storage density – 4x higher than DRAM
  • Extreme durability – 1000x or more cycle endurance than NAND
  • Increased data access performance – 1000x that of NAND

Multiple designs are being explored to develop 3-dimensional PCRAM structures with phase change memory (PCM).

This white paper explains how PCM films deposited via metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) can produce conformal films that may enable new device and architecture design for PCRAM devices.

MOCVD GST Based PCM devices exhibit higher electrical performance when compared with those made using sputter deposited PCM materials. A possible new device architecture reduces the number of process steps, thereby lowering the cost to manufacture 3D SCM devices.