memory expansion over a decade

Intel NUC5i5RYK

Today I received my new NUC from Amazon. It is an Intel nuc5i5ryk. I will be using it to deploy my test servers for the Atlassian Jira, Confluence and Bitbucket servers and a bunch of other services inside virtual machines.

This new purchase is a milestone in my usage of computers. The first computer I ever owned was a Pentium 233 with 16Mb of ram and I guess a 4.3Gb hard drive, which I assembled myself. That goes back to summer 1998. I assembled it in a full-size tower case.

Now, the NUC I have in my hand is a sandwich size computer, with 16Gb RAM. That’s 1000 times growth on RAM size in 17 years.

It made me think, what is coming up in another 17 years? Are we going to have computers with 17Tb rams?

With the advancements being made on high speed none-volatile memories, most probably in the next few years, the concept of separate memory units as RAM and hard disk as we know it today will be part of history. There will be just one memory unit that does the job of both, and lots of limitations we have today will be solved.

This is one example of those breakthroughs: Intel and Micron from mid last year: Intel and Micron Produce Breakthrough Memory Technology. Mass production is to begin soon.

So the answer to the question is no! RAM size is unlikely to grow to terabyte territory for home users before it vanishes entirely.

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