PRAM, or phase change memory, part of the best candidates to the estate of the current flash memory. Volatile as the NAND, this type of memory approaches the performance of DRAM.
Many builders are therefore working actively to its development and the resolution of the problems still faced by researchers (current important necessary write, sensitivity to heat or even electronic noise increase). First PRAM chips have already appeared on the market, although capabilities are still low compared with currently available memory NAND flash chips.
IBM however seems confident, and has even announced the development of (multi-level cell) MLC PRAM chips, while until now the phase change memory was limited to the SLC. In practice, the test of IBM chip is engraved in 90 nm CMOS. It displays a latency of writing 10 microseconds, a time 100 times less than the best current flash memory. The strength of this type of memory is also impressive, with 10 million cycles of Scripture supported (against only 3,000 about memory for NAND flash engraved in 25 nm).
These results are therefore rather encouraging, but there is still a lot of way to go: the MLC PRAM should not be able to replace the NAND flash before 4 or 5 years…