IBM recently was granted a patent for the technology to create an external RAM enclosure. IBM's current concept calls for the device to be comprised of three major parts; an external RAM enclosure for the add-on memory, a DRAM slot adapter that is installed like normal RAM, and a cable which connects the two. According to IBM the goal of the product is to provide a temporary solution to upgrading memory in everything from laptops, and PDAs to desktops while also allowing users to easily swap memory between systems. IBM claims that their external enclosure will provide four memory slots for every one DRAM slot within a PC. Furthermore, when the external RAM enclosure is not plugged in the system will not pick up the DRAM adaptor removing any need to enter ones PC after the adaptor is initially installed.
IBM does not describe the invention as a replacement for typical memory upgrades, but as an option to increase the available memory temporarily and allow users to share RAM upgrades, simply by switching the module from one computer to another â€“ especially in devices where RAM is not easily accessible, such as notebooks. According to the patent, the RAM box can provide up to four memory slots for every DRAM slot within a PC case.
IBM did not specify what type of cabling would be used to connect the adaptor and the external enclosure, but if the technology develops into a product details will inevitably be released. While the need for a product to hot-swap RAM remains to be seen, the fact that one could create 24 memory slots on a motherboard with six DRAM slots seems kind of cool if not a bit excessive. Kudos to IBM for such an interesting new concept.