A government-funded Taiwanese research institute says it will have phase-change memory products out within three years, while another memory technology to rival DRAM (dynamic RAM), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), may be available by the end of 2008.

TSMC and ITRI are working on MRAM technology. The two have been awarded over 40 patents related to MRAM technology, said Chang. TSMC will likely have the technology ready and available for customers by the end of next year or early in 2009, he said.

MRAM combines the ability to retain data when power is shut off with fast processing speeds comparable to DRAM. DRAM is speedy, but it cannot retain data without electrical power.

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