Currently, RAM hasn’t changed much over the years outside of speed and capacity. It’s the same old story. Content is stored on a drive, and then temporarily loads into RAM (memory) when opened. At least, the most-commonly accessed parts of all that data are stored in memory to help speed things along until you close things out or cut power to the system.
That latter part is what sets it apart from storage. Store data on a drive and it will be there the next time you boot your system. RAM, on the other hand, is temporary storage. It helps move data to and from the processor quickly. In fact, when you use the term CPU, RAM is a part of this term as the RAM and processor operate together as a team (a unit).
Hard drives have come a long way thanks to NVMe SSDs, reaching speeds greater than we have ever evolved to in the past. However, they still can’t live up to the speed of RAM. This includes the upcoming PCIe Gen 5 drives that are insanely fast.
So what is UltraRAM and how can it change things? The term was coined by Lancaster University in the United Kingdom within a research paper. Scientists there believe that can gain the speed benefits of RAM while being able to maintain the data even when powered off.
If this is true, then one day, storage devices and RAM memory may be one in the same. Storage that can access data and share it to and from the processor directly at lightning-fast speeds. Sadly, that time isn’t now though. We may not see this anytime soon, but it does lay the foundation toward future possibilities as they continue to engineer the process and the theories behind it all.
You never know though. They may hit a eureka moment much sooner than anticipated. Until then, you will still have to buy into both components when building your favorite systems in the near future.