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 Aug 27, 2008 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
* RAM for Free

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
An interesting piece in IEEE Spectrum pops up on an experimental technique for getting more RAM. Basically, it's performing data compression before things are stored in RAM.

Reminds me a lot of the "Ram Doubler" type programs on the old Mac OS... but hey, if they can actually make RAM more efficient through software with a relatively small performance hit, it could do wonders on devices like the memory-stripped PSP.

If software designers yield to temptation and ask for more memory than they could possibly need, they risk wasting a lot of money?even pennies matter when you're producing millions of units. Or the product could end up being too power hungry. Yet if they skimp on RAM, they may prevent the unit from running some new killer app that would allow the gadget to beat the competition. Such mistakes sometimes force companies to redesign their hardware, a process that is enormously costly and time-consuming.

We have spent the better part of three years trying to give designers of embedded systems a third option: to increase effective memory by compressing the data stored in RAM using just software.


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