Station writes "Intel's new phase-change memory technology (PRAM) will begin sampling this year. Samsung, IBM, and Hitachi are all working on phase-change memory as a successor to flash as it has a lower (~20ns) read latency than flash (50-90ns). 'Intel says they plan to ship the first PRAM modules as a straight-ahead NOR flash replacement so that they can work the kinks out of the design before trying to move it up the memory hierarchy. The company claims a much higher number of read-write cycles (100 million) than flash, as well as a potential 10 years' worth of data retention. NOR flash is typically used as program storage memory for mobile devices like cell phones, while more durable but slower NAND flash is used for mass storage in devices like the iPod nano.'"