DRam memory looks likely to remain unchallenged as the main memory type for some time, after several of the leading rivals technologies failed to break into the mainstream in 2006.
Memory technologies such as Magnetoresistive RAM (MRam) from Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung’s Phase Change RAM (PRam) or holographic memory from InPhase Technologies have made significant progress last year, according to analyst iSuppli.
However, none managed to make it to full-scale commercialisation, although iSuppli predicted that changes in the market could soon see these technologies reaching a growing number of suppliers.
Mark DeVoss, senior analyst for Flash, Static Ram and multi-chip products at iSuppli, said: “All three of these technology offerings, while intriguing, remain firmly entrenched in the realm of the promising. Until revenues materialise and adoption rates begin to show continuous improvement, the jury remains out.”
Freescale’s MRam has been around for a few years, but it has remained uncompetitive to DRam because of higher cost-per-bit and integration difficulties. Freescale claimed to have addressed both issues during 2006. Samsung’s PRam is now available in a 512MB capacity and is being positioned as a competitor to NOR Flash, with a big marketing drive expected during 2008.
InPhase’s holographic memory has just started to become commercially available and is being targeted as a rival to tape backup solutions for long-term archiving. It is seen as too expensive for consumers, but it is on its way to becoming a mainstream storage technology, according to iSuppli.
InPhase has just signed an OEM deal with DSM, a leading maker of optical storage systems for enterprises. The agreement will result in the creation of the first holographic archival systems based on the Tapestry 300R holographic drives, for broadcast, government, medical and IT customers.
Immo Gathmann, director of sales at DSM, said: “We are the only European company able to implement these holographic units into large libraries and, together with InPhase, we can address a corporate enterprise storage market that requires very high-capacity, petabyte-sized, storage.”
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