Tuesday, October 05, 2004

MRAM to replace dynamic RAM in 7 years!

We know how that computer technology is advancing rapidly. In fact, it was nearly a year ago I got almost the fastest computer out with a monster GPU along with it. Now there is two ways I can go with this – the super computer route or the consumer route. I decided to go the consumer route partly because I already wrote an entry on Super Computers. It’s not how fast computers are getting as much as how small you can get them. The most obvious thing is lap tops – a miniature desktop computer. I mean I’ve seen this neck and neck. Laptops now come with a Pentium 4 at 3GHz and 1 GB of RAM which was pretty much how fast my XPS was a year ago. Computers soon are used in videogame consoles. In 2000, a PS2 essentially had to raw data processing power of a 800 MHz Intel Pentium 3 CPU. The Xbox actually uses a modified Pentium 3 at 733 MHz, 64 MB of SDRAM, and a 128-bit Geforce 3 to power its graphics. The Xbox costs less than the less technically superior Playstation 2 (it was 3 before LOL!). I don’t think a shelved Geforce 3 had a 128-bit cache in it besides the Xbox version. PC graphics surpassed Xbox graphics in summer 2002.

- Best New Technology of 2004 -

MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory) This one I find the most interesting. This RAM uses magnets to store large amounts of data in its memory banks temporary which of course is good for graphics applications. This will soon make electronic pulse SDRAM and RDRAM obsolete. It also has better power usage making this RAM more efficient than SDRAM or RDRAM. I don’t know if MRAM is made for Super computers now-a-days or what’s the case. Super Computers would benefit for this new RAM and be able to do a lot more in less time. Wikipedia states that MRAM will start appearing in home PCs in 2005. Remember this is only the first generation. Two months away – I remember when it was mid 2003 and I got out of high school. Maybe my next PC should have 1 GB of MRAM in it?

Basic Advantages:

1. Boot up computers without BIOS boot-up processes (which isn’t that big of deal)
2. Because it’s very cheaply made, MRAM will be so small current technology in PCs will not be able to compete very well from what the net says
3. In the works for 30 years
4. First successful MRAM chip built in 1998
5. Major leap from Dynamic RAM
6. Random Access Memory based on the same technology used of DVDs and CDs only they are ROM or read only memory.
7. First Generation can store 128 GB/sec and 40 MB per/second
8. Beats the crap out of SDRAM technology so badly it’s not even funny anymore.
9. Probably will be 1 to 2 years before products start using magnetic technology
10.) First Generation will use .18 micron technology.

Just think about Magnetic memory – think in the future you can burn data to a magnetic circular media more advanced than DVD (like a hard drive) only saved concretely. Okay for the average person – it would like a 10,000x DVD-RW drive. Pretty cool huh? That would make your portable DVD player have twice the battery life. Some people disagree with it. MRAM seems very cool and all but it takes 6 seconds to boot up my computer if you count at a normal pace and not really fast. Much like the issue with Playstation 3 I think the only reason I’ll need CDs in 3 years is if I want to play older games. Unreal Tournament 2004, Doom3, The Sims 2 come on DVD now and there is hardly any slow down playing DVDs on DVD-ROM vs. playing CDs on DVD-ROM. By the time that most games are on DVD format, everyone will have DVD-ROM faster than 8x reading speed which is the minimum anyone would want to read game discs.

One thing I don’t understand about MRAM is that every computer today needs a BIOS to recognize optimal drives, hard drives and operating systems, PS2 ports, video card.

In an MRAM chip, only a small amount of electricity is needed to store bits of data. This small amount of electricity switches the polarity of each memory cell on the chip. A memory cell is created when wordlines (rows) and bitlines (columns) on a chip intersect. Each one of these cells stores a 1 or a 0, representing a piece of data. MRAM promises to combine the high speed of static RAM (SRAM), the storage capacity of DRAM and the non-volatility of Flash memory.

- 2nd best computer technology of 2004 -

BD disc (Blu-Ray) – This new media can store up to 25 GB on one side. However, if it’s dual layered than it can store 50 GB. This new technology is developed by Sony and Panasonic and a 1x BDRW can burn 36 MB / second. First customer device with this new technology probably will be Playstation 3. The discs can be made cheaper than DVDs and the drives can read data 10 times as fast. Single layer "BDs" will come in 23.3GB, 25 GB and 27 GB storages. It looks like 23.3 GB disc will be the most common amongst PC drives to prevent piratacy of 25 GB and 27 GB BDs. Besides compression wise - I bet anyone could fit 25 GBs worth of data on a single 23.3 GB BD. The PS3 will use a Blu-ray drive to run it's software. This doesn't mean that all games have to be on BD and can continue to support DVDs like Xbox and PS2 have done for 4 years. These high priced BDs are already out.

I found interesting news also on BD movie's video-codec. Since BD-ROM players will be unique might as well support a new video codec as well. This new codec is called VC-1 and it's developed by Microsoft. It's suppose to be as compressed as DIVX or XVID except all quality will be very high resolution. It will do a better job at compressing high def video than MPEG 4 probably can. BDs can be made less expensively than DVDs are, but knowing that techicially they hold much more than DVDs - BDs will sell twice as much at Best Buy or CompUSA whereas online stores can sell them a bit cheaper. BDs are coming out next year to the masses! Yay!

Company alliance developing Blu-Ray includes :

Hitachi, Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Pioneer Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation
Thomson Multimedia

Concept Art

One thing I did do is update I.Q.B. to version 2.0.6 which I worked on October 08th. As usual I like to search Google for Xbox 2 specs impressions. I already know the real specs were leaked onto the Internet since June. One thing is true – Microsoft likes to loose money on CPUs because a 3.5 GHz CPU will cost them a lot of money. My point is I’ve bought 25 games for my Xbox and even though 2/3 of them were pre-owned, I probably paid Microsoft their debt to make my Xbox with new games. I bought Fable, Rallisport Challenge 2, and Tony Hawk Underground totaling 120 dollars when I bought them new.

Well here are some Photoshop concept art of Xbox 2 and Nintendo Revolution I found off various places so I shrunk them into a much smaller size and posted them on my server.

Is Nintendo Nitro the official name for Project Revolution? It’s only a rumor, but it’s funny because I mentioned “Nitro” as a possible Xbox 2 name in my “Will Videogames play PC games?” post about a month ago. It originally was supposed to be the ‘real’ name for Nintendo Dual Screen. Strangely, I’ve gotten 145 hits within a month on that entry. Not to common for me. Something about that post must interest people. I’m guessing they all want to see my ‘real’ videogame collection images, but I’m not sure since the title was about pc games playing on videogame consoles. I posted something 5 months ago listing every videogame I have and it since then became the most popular post on my blog.

Share your comments on this MRAM deal or comment how realistic the Xbox 2 photoshop art is. I think the concept is really cool. I like the second picture.

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