Random Access Memory

How does RAM compete in today's market?

One shall keep in mind that there are many new types of RAM coming out, and as a result, competitors are face to face with each other regarding the future of RAM itself.

A brief crash course history of RAM

The modern day counterpart of RAM, or at least it's past cousin, was introduced in 1968 by Robert Dennard.
The market is currently concerned with two types of RAM: dynamic RAM (DRAM) and static RAM (SRAM).

What is DRAM?

Both DRAM and SRAM are used in modern applications today. DRAM, for this matter, is used for small and casual applications; first things that come to mind are gaming consoles, home desktops, and some smartphones. Keeping the topic of size in mind, there is a higher density of data where the RAM in DRAM is contained in. To function, one must ensure that there is a continuous power supply to retain memory and data.

What is SRAM?

SRAM is better, in terms of performance and compacity, when compared to dynamic RAM. It is used in MUCH smaller applications; again, smartphones are known for using it, as one example. SRAM is volatile, just like RAM in general; if there is a power outage of some sort, the information written from applications is permanently lost.


I've heard that there are two kinds of dynamic RAM. What are they?

Dual in-line memory modules (DIMM) and RIMM (named after the company, Kingston Technology, that trademarked it).

DIMM contains a 64-bit component and is known for its pairing together with other DIMMs: this can lead to an increase in performance when connected to the motherboard.

RIMM only has a 16-bit interface, yet it is just like its cousin, DIMM; it is likewise known for its pairing to increase performance. However, the RIMMs must be installed within a 32-bit interface used as a dual-channel.


RAM Market Trends

Just like any other market out there, there are prototypes, new versions that may fall or fly, debuts, and of course, constant research to improve how RAM works in general. In today's RAM market, solid-state drives are relying less on DRAM. In other words, there is a less abundance of DRAM-based SSD in favor of SSDs that use flash memory. This is seen in many levels of computer types, from desktops to mainframes. SSDs that rely on flash arrays are decreasing in market share as well. In short, DRAM is incrementally being replaced with flash memory, with regard to server-based computing.


Concerning the topic of "constant research", one prototype of a new version of RAM is called 3D XPoint Technology. It is currently being developed by these companies: Micron and Intel. Intel is known for their continuous involvement in manufacturing computers.

Not only are they collaborating because of advantages in knowledge and development processes, but 3D XPoint Technology is destined to be a non-volatile for of memory and possess a denser storage space than DRAM. One shall note that the purpose of continuous memory storage research has two goals: higher rates of data transfer and storage to keep the data in.

A key attribute in 3D XPoint Technology is this: reliance on how much voltage, or power, is used for it to function, and the use of selectors, rather than read-write heads to assign locations for data storage.


What concerns the future of RAM?

  1. It should come as no surprise for one to witness the debut of full memory-based storage in industrial, commercial, and casual settings in the not too distant future.