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R&D: Survey on Techniques for Improving Phase Change Memory Lifetime

Present some improvements to PCM performance to make it competitive with common NVMs, in conclusion, survey will be helpful to both researchers who are considering starting PCM projects and those already proficient in PCM.

Journal of Systems Architecture has published an article written by Milad Mohseni, and Ahmad Habibized Novin, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz Branch, Tabriz, Iran.

Abstract: PCMs are Non-Volatile Memories (NVMs) that store data using phase-change semiconductors, such as silicon-chalcogenide glass. In addition to increased integration density, PCMs have high durability and data transfer rates and consume less power during read/write operations. Compared with flash memory, PCM operates at much faster speeds and is close to the performance of DRAM. As a result, it is one of the most popular semiconductor memories which is used in various applications. However, PCM cells are limited to a certain number of write operations, and because of that, values cannot be changed when this limit is reached. Hence, PCMs do not last for a long time. The limited lifespan of PCM memory has led to considerable research in recent years. Several architectural levels and methods have been offered and examined to overcome this challenge. In this study, functional and practical techniques are identified and analyzed to extend the longevity of PCMs. These schemes can also be used to prolong the life of other NVM technologies since they share similar characteristics with PCMs. Furthermore, we will present some improvements to PCM performance to make it competitive with common NVMs. In conclusion, this survey will be helpful to both researchers who are considering starting PCM projects and those already proficient in PCM.

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