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Zombie RAM

2014-03-15 23:40:30.015715+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

The mystery of the Zombie RAM.

It all started one bright morning when I wondered: Can the RAM memory on an AVR chip continue to store data after power is removed? If it can hold the data even just for a brief moment, then that could be very useful in a project I am working on.

I'm doing hardware design this afternoon, using an AVR as the core processor. Hopefully I don't have to deal with this sort of stuff, but...

[ related topics: Hardware Hackery Interactive Drama Work, productivity and environment Graphic Design ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-16 01:41:34.110792+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Not just AVR. Dynamic RAM can hold its data for quite a while. Not 100% reliably, but to a significant extent.

This isn't necessarily a good thing, though; it means you can shut down an operating computer, reboot it with a different OS, and recover data that was stuck in RAM. That includes unencrypted private keys. Even if some of the bits are flipped, it takes a relatively small amount of work to recover the key.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-16 17:35:31.716535+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think the surprising thing here was just how much current the LED was generating. I got this from Mark Vandewettering, who had noticed that you can use an LED as a light sensor..