An anonymous reader writes
"A UC San Diego team is about to demonstrate a solid state storage device that it says provides performance thousands of times faster than a conventional hard drive and up to seven times faster than current state-of-the-art solid-state drives. The drive uses first-of-its-kind phase-change memory, which stores data in the crystal structure of a metal alloy called a chalcogenide. To store data, the PCM chips switch the alloy between a crystalline and amorphous state based on the application of heat through an electrical current. To read the data, the chips use a smaller current to determine which state the chalcogenide is in."