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Constrained Codes for Phase-Change Memories

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Executive Summary

Phase-Change Memories (PCMs) are an important emerging non-volatile memory technology that uses amorphous and crystalline cell states to store data. The cell states are switched using high temperatures. As the semi-stable states of PCM cells are sensitive to temperatures, scaling down cell sizes can bring significant challenges. The authors consider two potential thermal-based interference problems as the cell density approaches its limit, and study new constrained codes for them. PCMs are under active study and development due to their very attractive potentials. Compared to the widely used flash memories, PCMs can potentially scale to much smaller cell sizes and achieve higher storage capacity.

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