RAM and ROM in one: fast long-term memory!

By | April 21, 2017

Until now, computer memory chips are divided into two sorts: the fast kind, which is great for doing computations on faster than you can blink, but can't store information once power goes, and the slow kind, which is great for storing information but not fast enough to perform heavy computations on. As a result, a whole computer and information architecture has been built around caching – the art of putting the information you'll need on the 'fast' memory, keeping the information you (hopefully) don't on the 'slow' memory, and synchronizing the two every now and then.

Although it still has a very steep price tag, Intel's latest memory chip has the potential to meet the best of both worlds: stable memory storage which can be accessed and updated rapidly. And when tomorrow's supercomputers won't have to worry about caching penalties anymore, we can expect better performance, faster analyses, and new algorithms for working with big data optimized for this new class of optane memory chips.

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2 thoughts on “RAM and ROM in one: fast long-term memory!

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    Do you remember what that company was called? Perhaps – if they did get anywhere close to a patent – comparing patents might shed some insight on whether that polymer memory technology has, in some form or another, been upcycled into optane.

  2. Mike Hamm

    Nearly two decades ago Intel invested in a company making polymer memory. Shortly thereafter, R&D quietened down and they all but disappeared. 3D array, non volatile, crazy fast and it could've buried the flash industry. Curious if this has remnants of that tech.. they suggested something similar to 'universal' memory, a credit card sized drive holding 10-20TB. The vision included dockable terminals that would literally only require your card to boot your entire environment. Oh to be a fly on the wall in some of those meetings..


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