Chicago (IL) – IBM has been granted a patent to a technology, which could allow users to expand system memory via an external box.
IBM says that the connector can be inserted into a DRAM slot just like a common memory module, allowing the memory installed in the external box to be addressed by the motherboard as another bank or DRAM. When there is no external RAM module plugged in, no memory is recognized by the motherboard's memory addressing unit, the patent claims.
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 – 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.
It was unclear which type of cabling IBM intends to use for connecting the connector with the external box.
IBM has not announced an actual product that makes use of this technology.