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HP Hardware

HP To Introduce Flash Memory Replacement In 2013 253

Spy Hunter writes "Memristors are the basis of a new memory technology being developed by HP and Hynix. At the International Electronics Forum, Stan Williams, senior fellow at HP Labs, said, 'We're planning to put a replacement chip on the market to go up against flash within a year and a half. We're running hundreds of wafers through the fab, and we're way ahead of where we thought we would be at this moment in time.' They're not stopping at a flash replacement either, with Williams saying, 'In 2014 possibly, or certainly by 2015, we will have a competitor for DRAM and then we'll replace SRAM.' With a non-volatile replacement for DRAM and SRAM, will we soon see the end of the reboot entirely?"
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HP To Introduce Flash Memory Replacement In 2013

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  • Ofcourse not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07, 2011 @08:10AM (#37637378)

    Ofcourse we will not see the end of the reboot entirely. I have yet to encounter a Windows or Linux system that you can upgrade without rebooting. (In practice that is, in theory it should all work.)
    Memristors will make a dent in the small scale UPS market since there will be no need to shut down gracefully but we will still need large scale backup system where you want to continue running your operation during power outage.
    The real change we will see is when memristors replace flash and dram since there will no longer make sense to keep the bulk storage in a different memory from the rest of the system. Everything will be memory mapped always like it was in the good old ROM-based days.
    The problem is that both Windows and Linux is badly prepared for this since both of them uses executable program structures that require modification upon loading. A lot of programs are also using datafiles in an abstract format that require extensive parsing before usage. (Like XML or other text based configuration files.)
    This makes it hard to transition into XIP-system where loading is something that doesn't happen. (Did anyone with a battery backed SRAM PCMCIA-card try eXecute In Place on the Amiga? I would like to know if it actually worked or if it was just a term mentioned in the manuals. It should have worked since it's not really any different from compiling programs for memory-resident operation.)

  • by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @08:19AM (#37637430)

    I assume, then, that you never shut your computer down for the night. Or for the weekend.

    I turn my computer on for the night and the weekend*.

    * you insensitive clod!

  • by An dochasac ( 591582 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @08:30AM (#37637520)
    We can finally dump the multiple layers of caching, look-ahead and other OS complexity designed to hide several orders of magnitude difference between register/DRAM access and persistent storage (tape/Hard drive/core memory...). Operating systems can return to the level of simplicity they had back when everything was uniformity slow. But now everything will be uniformly fast and we'll can focus complexity on multiprocessing.

    It will become practical to implement neural networks in hardware. This will completely change the way we design and program software and databases.

    Persistent and portable user sessions will become the norm. (Look at Sun Ray for an idea of how this works. Sun Ray sessions are typically logged in for months at a time. This means software has to be better behaved but it also means we won't have to rely on user memory to restore a desktop and applications to... now where was I?
  • by trold ( 242154 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @08:33AM (#37637548) Homepage

    You've missed an important point here. Non-volatile RAM means than powering off does not imply a reboot. When power returns the next morning, or after the weekend, the computer is still in the same state as when you pulled the plug Friday evening. /trold

  • Re:end of the HDD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:51AM (#37639738)

    Even if you decided to maintain a VM system, the idea of a unified storage system (DRAM+DISK as one device) is pretty fascinating.

    You could theoretically install a program in an already running state. All your programs could be running simultaneously -- "quitting" an application may just be telling the kernel to stop scheduling it; launching it again would mean just scheduling it again to execute, where it would pick up exactly where it left off.

    Obviously a lot of software would have to be rewritten to take advantage of this, but some of the possibilities are fascinating.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.