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Micron Co-developing Non-Volatile DRAM

By - Source: Micron | B 15 comments

AgigA Tech has found a partner to work to bring its non-volatile DRAMs to market: Micron said that it is co-developing the technology with Cypress Semiconductor's subsidiary.

According to a press releases, Micron said it will be contributing its expertise in memory IC, module development, and manufacturing to result in an NVDIMM module that will use AgigA Tech's ultracapacitor-based power modules. The previously announced AgigA Tech technology combines DRAM and Flash memory in DDR3 form factor modules. When the power supply is cut, the contents in the DRAM are transferred to Flash. The briefly required power supply is provided by AgigA Tech's capacitors. According to the company, the data retention time in the DIMM reaches about 10 years.

Micron said that it has signed an agreement to collaborate to develop and offer nonvolatile DIMM (NVDIMM) products with AgigA Tech, but it did not provide information when such products could become available and how much they would cost.

 

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  • 6 Hide
    assasin32 , December 3, 2012 7:11 AM
    Well that would make cold boot attacks much easier.
  • 0 Hide
    manofchalk , December 3, 2012 7:40 AM
    Interesting, wonder what other applications that this could bring. Imagine something along the lines of super fast USB drives or tablet storage could be possible, with the RAM acting as a cache to the flash memory.
  • 4 Hide
    fuzzion , December 3, 2012 8:02 AM
    My 1987 sony amp already did that. Infact, the capacitors were so awesomely old that you could switch it off and still hear your music for a few seconds later.
  • 3 Hide
    merikafyeah , December 3, 2012 8:03 AM
    Sweet! With this you won't have to save all your work when you need to swap out your laptop batteries.
    Just enter standby, insert new battery, resume where you left off. How I wish I could do this now.
  • 2 Hide
    immanuel_aj , December 3, 2012 8:05 AM
    I guess hibernating a computer would make it come out of that state even faster now if this is possible. And a RAM drive would really be an actual drive, the contents remaining in between powering the computer off.
  • -2 Hide
    tiret , December 3, 2012 8:09 AM
    looking forward to the day when i can start my pc and immediately get the windows login screen.
    that is one of the main reasons people leave their machines on when they leave work - ultimately millions of pc's stay on for nothing every day - think of the wasted energy - the unnecessary green house emissions.
  • 1 Hide
    myromance123 , December 3, 2012 8:42 AM
    Is it possible with tech like this that volatile DRAM would become obsolete?
  • 2 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , December 3, 2012 9:26 AM
    myromance123Is it possible with tech like this that volatile DRAM would become obsolete?

    Not really. Battery powered devices such as tablets and smartphones don't require NVRAM
  • 2 Hide
    tomfreak , December 3, 2012 9:56 AM
    they could have just add the entire thing into SSD as a cache much like SSD flash on a HDD = Hybrid drive is always a good thing. SSD with DRAM as cache would prove useful for frequent use data, so this will further improve SSD write cycle as we shrink the SSD process nm.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , December 3, 2012 12:05 PM
    This have loads of applications and if the speed / density is high enough it could replace both dram and flash with one type. Why have an ssd when the program is already "installed" into the main memory and will remain even after shut-down... The security concerns is another matter, mem resident programs and the like will have a whole new meaning....
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , December 3, 2012 2:21 PM
    I would imagine that a better route would be to improve the time it takes to write from the memory to the actual storage device. Yes, this NVRAM idea does sound interesting... but isn't it a little too late? I might be thinking things through poorly, but isn't part of the faster shutdown times with SSDs specifically because data is transferred faster from the memory to the storage? I guess NVRAM would help with sudden power loss or something, but for conventional use, improving the read/write speeds of SSDs would seem to be the better path in the long term.
  • 0 Hide
    hotsacoman , December 3, 2012 3:07 PM
    In practice, this sounds very similar to a ramdisk, whereby the option to save the image is turned on and done so before the computer turns off.
  • 1 Hide
    oldboy2508 , December 3, 2012 5:25 PM
    What happen to Mresistor memory research? Has it stopped?
  • 1 Hide
    zakaron , December 3, 2012 5:50 PM
    I've done this a couple times before - while working on some hardware changes I forgot my system was in sleep mode, so I'd pull the power cord and make the change I needed to do. When powering back on however, Windows would be confused why it can't find the contents of RAM when trying to wake up from sleep mode. Those were certainly facepalm moments. And yes, that's plural.

    I could also see this as a benefit for RAID controllers that use a rechargable battery backup DRAM solution to preserve contents of it's cache until power is restored to finish writes out to disk. This solution seems more reliable as I've seen numerous batteries go bad on these setups.

    I think this would finally make a viable RAMdisk solution should power be lost before the software can write the contents to an image.

    Very cool tech!
  • 0 Hide
    internetlad , December 3, 2012 10:08 PM
    a 370 watch battery glued to the side lol