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Mr. Anderson
Jun 10, 2003, 09:28 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/06/10/ibm.memory.reut/index.html

Very cool stuff and it totally makes sense. The only thing I really have to say is why did it take so damn long ;)

Hopefully with IBM's dealings with Apple we'll see this sooner than later.

D

wdlove
Jun 10, 2003, 10:19 AM
That is going to be really cool Mr. Anderson! I also hope that Apple will be the 1st to introduce this into the computer market! :cool:

P-Worm
Jun 10, 2003, 10:46 AM
Hmm....

Wouldn't having an instant boot up be bad for the system in general?

P-Worm

szark
Jun 10, 2003, 11:23 AM
Also, having memory retention would make it much harder to get rid of viruses, unless there was some way to wipe the memory.

But it is a very cool development!

springscansing
Jun 10, 2003, 11:32 AM
Or you could just leave your computer on like I do.. or sleep it heh.

unclepain
Jun 10, 2003, 02:36 PM
I've been whining about this for years. I've often wondered why they just couldn't put the core OS components on some kind of Read Only flash memory and store any custom preferences or whatever on the hard drive. This way the OS stays completely virgin and upgrading it or booting up on a different version is no more complicated than popping in a new memory card. The only reason I can see for this not being in machines now is the cost of flash memory. Sure would be nice for reinstalling a new OS though.

GeeYouEye
Jun 10, 2003, 02:46 PM
Question: if SRAM (Static RAM, uses transistors to hold information instead of capacitors) didn't make for instant boot-up, why would MRAM?

springscansing
Jun 10, 2003, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by unclepain
I've been whining about this for years. I've often wondered why they just couldn't put the core OS components on some kind of Read Only flash memory and store any custom preferences or whatever on the hard drive. This way the OS stays completely virgin and upgrading it or booting up on a different version is no more complicated than popping in a new memory card. The only reason I can see for this not being in machines now is the cost of flash memory. Sure would be nice for reinstalling a new OS though.

Ahh yes I can see it now. MS mailing out new memory cards on their $100 a month subscription service every week with the latest security fixes. :rolleyes:

laukev7
Jun 10, 2003, 04:30 PM
RiscOS is ROM based, and has, indeed, all of these advantages. However, this is only practical for embeded or completely closed source operating systems. While it would have made sense for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, on the other hand, is based on an open source kernel, and such a method would be very unpractical. The only good thing about this is that if Apple ever ports OSX to Intel processors (very unlikely), it could easy prevent people from just using OSX on normal PC's (unless, of course, if they dump a ROM image...)

MrMacMan
Jun 10, 2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by GeeYouEye
Question: if SRAM (Static RAM, uses transistors to hold information instead of capacitors) didn't make for instant boot-up, why would MRAM?

Because aparently the magnetic RAM is faster, and holds everything in place...

GeeYouEye
Jun 10, 2003, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
Because aparently the magnetic RAM is faster, and holds everything in place...

I get the faster part, but because SRAM used transistors instead of capacitors it was capable of holding data after the power was removed. So I think there must be something else.

mactastic
Jun 10, 2003, 06:07 PM
Geez, I never turn my computer off anymore at all unless I'm gonna be away from it for several days which is rare. Its pretty much instant on for me already. 1-2 seconds to wake up from sleep and I'm good to go. Even when I put it in my backpack and take it with me its just sleeping. Usually the only time it is off is when I get a new update and I have to restart!:D

sageenos
Jun 10, 2003, 06:19 PM
Actually, SRAM still needs a small supply of power in order to keep memory if I remember correctly. SRAM differs from DRAM in its speed and density (DRAM is easier to get in larger amounts, but SRAM is much faster... thus the use of SRAM in the processor caches instead of main memory).

In summary:
SRAM - more expensive, lower density, higher speeds, volatile memory
DRAM - less expensive, higher density, lower speeds, volatile memory

Doctor Q
Jun 10, 2003, 08:13 PM
I read a research report about a semi-related matter. The researchers noticed that frequent write cache flushing is necessary when disk writes are performed, as opposed to letting the data live in a memory cache until it is most convenient to write it. This is because the lost disk writes when a crash occurs can damage data integrity or the structure of a filesystem.

So they tried an experiment. They modified a Sun SPARC system so that disk writethrough was turned off but that the cache was stored in nonvolatile memory, with suitable flushing defined as part of the machine's boot process. The result was that delayed or combined disk writes let the system operate more efficiently, but data was not lost during a system crash because the writes completed when you rebooted.

I think it was a great invention, but I haven't heard that this technique is in widespread use yet. I hope it gets to be.

ozubahn
Jun 11, 2003, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by GeeYouEye
I get the faster part, but because SRAM used transistors instead of capacitors it was capable of holding data after the power was removed. So I think there must be something else.

SRAM uses multiple transistors rather than one transistor and one capacitor per cell, but that doesn't mean it can hold data after the power is removed. SRAM's advantages over DRAM are speed and simplicity, in that it doesn't need continual refresh like DRAM.

MRAM is nonvolatile because each bit is represented by the polarity of a magnetic domain, just like a normal hard drive. It is essentially a squarish hard disk that doesn't spin, with millions of read/write heads that don't move. Each head manages just one bit on one tiny chunk of magnetic material.

maradong
Jun 11, 2003, 05:35 AM
i don t know if that is really good idea. nothing will get refreshed, and once the ram has been damaged you ll get a whole new system... or don t i get the point?

blogo
Jun 11, 2003, 08:28 AM
Wont be so much faster to boot, most of the boottime it configures the network connections and checks the hardware.

But then again 5-30 secs less would help alot :)