Gigabyte has demonstrated a RAM disk with up to 4 GByte capacities and a battery to protect content when a PC is shut down at this year's Computex. The innovation could pave the way for a future PC that can power up almost in an instant.

Gigabyte's RAM disk is connected to the system via SATA-1 and uses a PCI port for power supply. The device offers four sockets for DDR1 DIMMs, enabling a capacity of up to 1 GByte. Possible uses include the option to install Windows on the drive, use the space for temporary files or as a swap drive or to install applications that make extensive use of the harddrive on the device.

The RAM disk will be shipping in the third quarter of this year and will carry a price tag of about $80.

Flash remains priced at a level that keeps it unattractive for mainstream use for large capacities, but there may well come a day where Flash or DRAM could be used as mass storage, bringing about the "instant on" PC.