Intel's chief technology officer Justin Rattner is set to give the first public demonstration of the company's PRAM (phase-change RAM) technology at this week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference.
PRAM is based on chalcogenide glass, which can be altered using the heat generated by an electric current. Heat changes the physical structure of the glass to either a crystalline or amorphous state. Each of these states has a distinct electrical resistance that is used to represent the ones and zeroes needed to represent stored data in binary terms.
PRAM looks set to offer better read-write speed and durability than flash memory, which works by trapping electrons in a memory cell. Over time, electrons inevitably become trapped in these cells and can no longer be removed, rendering the memory chip useless.