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Upgrades Hardware

Windows Has a Future In RAM: AgigaTech Samples DDR3+Flash DIMM 139

Posted by timothy
from the wake-up-call-to-ram dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AgigaTech appears to be the first company to produce a non-volatile SDRAM DIMM — an SDRAM memory module that retains its contents even without power supply. The modules combine DDR2/3 SDRAM with NAND Flash as well as a data transfer controller and an ultracapacitor-based power source to support a data transfer from the SDRAM to Flash and vice versa. If this memory makes it into production, this is something that I instantly will want and will stand in line for."
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Windows Has a Future In RAM: AgigaTech Samples DDR3+Flash DIMM

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  • I don't see it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zuriel (1760072) on Saturday September 01, 2012 @11:40AM (#41199675)

    Okay, I've broken the Slashdot rule and read the article.

    Can anyone tell me why this is so much better than traditional RAM with a SATA attached SSD? Or using hibernate to disk with an SSD? Is SATA so slow and laggy that there's a big benefit to attaching flash chips to our RAM slots?

    Retaining data in RAM without power is cool as a technical feat, but my SSD doesn't take long to fill my RAM chips.

  • by RudyHartmann (1032120) on Saturday September 01, 2012 @11:42AM (#41199681)

    Since computers began we have had hierarchal memory systems. Cache is the most expensive, but the fastest. DRAM is much cheaper slower and denser, but also volatile. Flash is faster than rotating media, slower than DRAM, but non-vloatile. It also has the drawback of limited programming cycles. Magnetic media is very dense, non-vloatile and slow. It is also mechanicly delicate. There are new technologies being developed that are both fast, dense, and non-volatile. With a fast enough, cheap and non-volatile memroy system, you would not need cache, RAM or disk. You could use on unified memory system. This is where I think many syustems are going. Windows, Linux, or OSX have nothing to do with it. Though they will all be greatly impacted.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday September 01, 2012 @12:21PM (#41199925) Homepage

    I remember some 40 years ago using a PDP-7. When I got tired at about 4am I would note the accumulator and program counter and switch the machine off. Coming back later I restored these and continued the program - it having remained in the core memory that the machine had.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 01, 2012 @12:44PM (#41200109)

    At 4 GZ light can only propagate 7.49 cm in one clock cycle. Communication in a computer is slower than the speed of light so the cache has to be physically very close to the CPU and preferably on the same die. That means that a harddisk at the end of a cable is completely out of the question to replace cache even if the harddisk could satisfy IO requests in zero seconds - the time to get the signal to the harddisk and back through the cable would be a limiting factor. Now you could imagine the CPU and harddisk being built together as one unit, effectively using non-volatile on-die cache as a harddisk - that might work. If nothing else, it would give us another use for all those transistors that we are currently using on increasing the number of cores on a die - adding more cores will probably stop being useful for most tasks at some point. This won't be a cheap kind of storage any time soon, though.

  • Re:No, wait.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Saturday September 01, 2012 @03:38PM (#41201047) Journal

    Its trollbait, it won't benefit Windows any more than it would BSD, Linux, or OSX. I mean who even shuts down anymore, when you have hybrid sleep? The amount of power used is negligible and if the battery gets low Windows automatically switches to hibernate.

    It seems to me the ones that would gain the most from this wouldn't be Windows but iOS and Android as it'd be great for cell phones. Just have the main OS shut down to this new RAM and have a tiny OS that simply listens for calls and SMS and wakes the larger OS if you have incoming communications. Hell with something like that we might actually have smartphones whose batteries last like the old dumbphones did, wouldn't that be nice?

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