A Glimpse Of The Future Of Storage : Gigabyte’s I-RAM

@ 2006/03/23
Every so often, a product comes along which is so simple, yet so mind-blowingly original that it shakes up the computing landscape. One of those products which makes you think "why hasn't someone done this sooner!". A product that any number of companies could have produced, but either didn’t think to or simply passed on the opportunity. Gigabyte's I-RAM is certainly one of these products. It's sleek, it's simple, and everyone wants one once they see what the device is capable of.
The I-RAM is based around the concept of a RAMDisk (or RAMDrive, if you will), a technique which has in practice ever since the days of MS-DOS. In the past, it would mean that you could cordon off a chunk of your main system memory (say, 512 MB or 1 GB) to act as a really fast storage device. Since system memory is far faster than a traditional hard drive, this worked well if you needed constant, instant access to small sets of data. Not only are access times basically non-existent, but RAMDisks have no moving parts, so they are utterly silent and won't break down due to moving part failures. The problem was, however, that if you rebooted or powered off your system, you would lose all the data in the RAMDisk. DRAM is volatile, meaning it must maintain a constant power to maintain the data stored internally.

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