IBM Scientists Achieve Storage Memory Breakthrough

Previously scientists at IBM and other institutes have successfully demonstrated the ability to store 1 bit per cell in PCM, but today at the IEEE International Memory Workshop in Paris, IBM scientists are presenting, for the first time, successfully storing 3 bits per cell in a 64k-cell array at elevated temperatures and after 1 million endurance cycles.

“Phase change memory is the first instantiation of a universal memory with properties of both DRAM and flash, thus answering one of the grand challenges of our industry,” said Dr. Haris Pozidis, an author of the paper and the manager of non-volatile memory research at IBM Research – Zurich. “Reaching 3 bits per cell is a significant milestone because at this density the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash.”

Source: IBM Scientists Achieve Storage Memory Breakthrough

Computer memory can be read with a flash of light

In 2009, researchers at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, demonstrated2 that the material has a photovoltaic response to visible light — meaning that when it is hit by light, a voltage is created. The size of the voltage depends on which polarization state the material is in, and can be read out using electrodes or transistors. Crucially, shining light on the material doesn’t change its polarization, and so does not erase the data stored in it.

via Computer memory can be read with a flash of light : Nature News & Comment.

It takes less than 10 nanoseconds to write to and read the cells, and recording the data requires about 3 volts. The leading nonvolatile RAM technology, flash, takes about 10,000 times longer to read and write, and needs 15 volts to record.

It’s Official: The Era of the Personal Computer Is Over.

As of this year, personal computers no longer consume the majority of the world’s memory chip supply.

via It’s Official: The Era of the Personal Computer Is Over. – Arik Hesseldahl – News – AllThingsD.

During that period, PCs accounted for the consumption of 49 percent of DRAM produced around the world, down from 50.2 percent in the first quarter of the year. The share of these chips going into PCs — both desktop and notebooks — has been hovering at or near 55 percent since early 2008, IHS says.

CPU Startup Combines CPU+DRAM

There are three limiting factors, or walls, that limit the scaling of modern microprocessors. First, there’s the memory wall, defined as the gap between the CPU and DRAM clock speed. Second, there’s the ILP (Instruction Level Parallelism) wall, which refers to the difficulty of decoding enough instructions per clock cycle to keep a core completely busy. Finally, there’s the power wall–the faster a CPU is and the more cores it has, the more power it consumes.

via CPU Startup Combines CPU+DRAM – HotHardware.

When your CPU has fewer transistors than an architecture that debuted in 1986, it’s a good chance that you left a few things out–like an FPU, branch prediction, pipelining, or any form of speculative execution. Venray may have created a chip with power consumption an order of magnitude lower than anything ARM builds and more memory bandwidth than Intel’s highest-end Xeons, but it’s an ultra-specialized, ultra-lightweight core that trades 25 years of flexibility and performance for scads of memory bandwidth.

Can DRAM replace hard drives and SSDs? RAMCloud creators say yes

The idea of replacing hard disk drives with flash memory has been gaining steam in the IT industry. But a research group at Stanford University is going even further: they say the goal should be to replace hard disks with DRAM.

via Can DRAM replace hard drives and SSDs? RAMCloud creators say yes.

This seems to violate the KISS principle.  The comments in the above article are also interesting.  RAM disks have been around since early DOS days.