Seminar on Ovonic Unified Memory

Ram Pothuraju


Ovonyx is developing a microelectronics memory technology called Ovonic Unified Memory (OUM). This technology is originally developed by Mr. Stanford Ovshinsky and exclusively licensed from Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) Inc. Ovonic unified memory -- its name is derived from ''Ovshinsky'' and ''electronic''.
Description of Ovonic Unified Memory

OVM is also known as phase change memory because it uses unique thin-film phase change material to store information economically and with excellent solid-state memory properties. It would be the replacement of conventional memories like Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM), Ferro electric Random Access Memory (FeRAM or FRAM), Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), and Static Random Access Memory (SRAM).OVM allows the rewriting of CD & DVDs .CD & DVD drives read or write ovonic material with laser , but OVM uses electric current to change the phase of the material. The thin-film material is a phase-change chalcogenide alloy similar to the film used to store information on commercial CD-RW and DVD-RAM optical disks, based on proprietary technology originally developed by and exclusively licensed from Energy Conversion Devices.

OUM is based on the information storage technology developed by Mr.Ovshinsky that allows rewriting of CD's and DVD's. While CD and DVD drives read and write ovonic material with lasers, OUM uses electric current to change the phase of memory cells. These cells are either in crystalline state, where electrical resistance is low or in amorphous state, where resistance is high. OUM can be read and write to trillionths of times making its use essentially nondestructive, unlike MRAM or FRAM.

OUM's dynamic range, difference between the electrical resistance in the crystalline state and in the amorphous state - is wide enough to allow more than one set of ON and OFF values in a cell, dividing it into several bits and multiplying memory density by two, four potential even 16 times. OUM is not as fast as MRAM.The OUM solid-state memory has cost advantages over conventional solid-state memories such as DRAM or Flash due to its thin-film nature, very small active storage media, and simple device structure.

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