Samsung is planning to put a new type of storage in smartphones starting later this year. They claim the new medium could increase battery life by 20%. It is called Phase Change Memory or PCM.
According to BBC News, the new memory is made from a phase change material which stores your data by heating the material. Heating the material causes it to switch between two states which gives you the binary 1 or 0.
Samsung said the new memory can write up to 10 times faster and it will be compatible with current flash memory modules. They hope to have phase change memory replace flash altogether.
PCM isn't the first storage medium to use heat to write data. CD burners have been doing it for years. But PCM uses electric current rather than a laser. The charge, which lasts only nanoseconds heats the material then once the charge ends the temperature drops so quickly it solidifies; freezing the atoms in place. To erase the area with the frozen atoms an electric current is sent through the device to warm it returning it to its original state.
PCM requires temperatures between 150 and 600 degrees Celsius (roughly 300 to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit) to operate. Though the devices are very safe at these temperatures, there is some concern as most users carry their phones in their pockets.