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In an article published online today in Science Advances, a team of scientists from Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences and Germany offer an explanation of how a particular phase-change memory (PCM) material can work a thousand times faster than current flash computer memory, while being significantly more durable with respect to the number of daily read-writes.

PCMs are a form of computer random-access memory (RAM) that store data by altering the state of the matter of the "bits" (millions of which make up the device) between liquid, glass and crystal states. PCM technology has the potential to provide inexpensive, high-speed, high-density, high-volume, nonvolatile storage on an unprecedented scale.

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Category: Science