Without RAM, your computer is basically useless. With RAM, it’s a blazing fast machine capable of taking on the world’s toughest processes.
RAM has consistently gotten cheaper, larger, faster, and more efficient as the years go by. We’ve gone from basic DDR RAM to today’s DDR3 and next year’s DDR4.
But a new type of RAM is being developed that could change the face of computing as we know it. This new RAM is being showcased at CES 2014 this week in Las Vegas and enables faster performance and better efficiency on electronic devices.
This new RAM is called Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) and would be different than today’s DRAM. DRAM uses an electric charge to store bytes of data, while MRAM would use magnetic technology. The RAM already exists and has been used for niche applications but it could be gearing up for its widespread consumer debut.
Already, Hitachi and Micron Technology, among other chip makers, have begun working on MRAM projects.
One of the biggest advantages of MRAM is the ability to save data after turning off your computer. Conventional RAM needs an electrical charge to hold data, which means your RAM is wiped out as soon as you turn off your PC.
MRAM, with its magnet technology, would be able to hold onto information after you turn your computer off. That means you would be able to shut down your computer and power it back on in seconds because all of your information would be stored in your MRAM. Startup wait times would be a thing of the past.
Another new type of RAM called RRAM – Resistive RAM – would carry similar benefits to MRAM and would “eventually deliver 20 times faster write performance, 20 times less power consumption and 10 times more durability than NAND flash memory.”
NAND flash memory is already incredibly fast, which means that the RAM of the future would be as close to ‘instant’ as possible. That’s exciting news.