Memory Trick Could Speed Up the Web

Storing information on volatile memory instead of hard disks could vastly speed up computing, researchers say.

Neil Savage

Computer researchers at Stanford want to throw away the hard disk and store information in data centers in random access memory, the more expensive temporary storage that makes programs run faster.

Today’s hard disks can hold roughly 10,000 times as much information as they did in the mid 1980s, but they can only transfer large amounts of data about 50 times as fast as they could back then. This is an increasingly significant bottleneck for data stored on a server in a data center—the kind becoming increasingly common as businesses push their data into cloud computing .

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