[rescue] Nano-tech storage (was: Tape drive woes)

Sheldon T. Hall shel at cmhcsys.com
Tue Sep 14 18:18:47 CDT 2004

lefa at ucsc.edu writes ...
> On Tue, 14 Sep 2004, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> > Phil Stracchino says ...
> >
> > > NanoMarket estimates that
> > > by 2011, the various naoscale memory technologies (*most*
> > > of which are
> > > fast, non-volatile and radiation-hard, by the way), will own
> > > 40% of the current *combined* RAM and disk market.
> >
> > I wonder if computing machinery and operating systems will
> > get redesigned to
> > take advantage of this.  If all your storage (and video
> > display) is just one
> > huge block of memory, a lot of the current complexity can
> > just go away.  I
> > predict interesting times.
> HUh? What is the benefit of putting your video display and physical
> storage as a single block... And as far as the computer is
> concerned, the
> OS needs to do the translation between physical and logical
> paging. The
> computer should only know about the physical items it has in
> RAM, storage
> should be abstracted if possible.

Actually I was thinking that "paging" would just go away.  If all the
storage is the same speed (essentially RAM in today's paradigm) there
wouldn't be any point.  The purpose of paging, as I understand it, is to
keep in fast storage (RAM) the stuff currently in use, and let the stuff
you're not using live on the slower storage (disk).  If you back up to tape,
you can think of that as an even slower paging device.

Ditto separate video memory ... Of course, that's already happened in some
areas.  The laptop I'm using at the moment doesn't seem to have any separate
video memory; it's all "shared RAM."  The computer in the next room doesn't
even have "video memory" or any other special video arragnements.

So ... if all your storage, i.e. what's now main-RAM, video RAM, and disk,
is one big hunk of solid state nano-whatever, you wouldn't need paging or
separate video memory.  The area of memory set aside for video could expand
or contract as needed, simply by the OS moving some border pointer or
something.  If you weren't using the video on the machine, that memory would
be used as main-RAM. You wouldn't even need to "load" stuff into memory from
"disk," as it would already be there and could be manipulated directly where
it is, at least on single-user computers.  Even on multi-user machines,
"loading" stuff would just be a memory-to-memory copy operation ... or maybe
the OS will just keep a diff of the "copies" of the file used by different

Of course, I don't design computers, although I have used 'em for quite some
years, so I may have this all wrong.


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