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Computer Memory: RAM and ROM

Computer memory is the internal storage areas in the computer. It


comes in the form of chips or ICs (Integrated Circuits), verses the
computer storage which exists on tapes or disks. Moreover, the
term memory is usually used as shorthand for physical memory,
which refers to the actual chips capable of holding data. ome
computers also use virtual memory, which expands physical
memory onto a hard disk.
!here are two basic types of memory" #$M and #%M.
#$M & #ead&only memory" $n #$M, data is prerecorded for read
only which can not be removed. #$M is nonvolatile and it retains
its contents regardless the computer is on or off. Most personal
computers contain a small amount of #$M that stores critical
programs such as the program that boots the computer. In addition,
#$Ms are used in calculators and peripheral devices such as laser
printers, whose fonts are often stored in #$Ms. !here are a few
variations of #$M such as programmable read&only
memory('#$M), which is manufactured as blank chips on which
data can be written with a special device called a '#$M
programmer.
#%M & #andom access memory" whose contents can be accessed
(read, write and remove) in any order. !his is in contrast to
se(uential memory devices such as magnetic tapes, discs and
drums, in which the mechanical movement of the storage medium
forces the computer to access data in a fixed order. #%M is usually
used for primary storage in computers to hold active information
such as data and programs. Common forms of #%M are" #%M
(tatic #%M) and )#%M ()ynamic #%M).
#%M ICs are often assembled into plug&in modules. ome
standard module types are" ingle in&line memory module (IMM)
and )ual in&line memory module ()IMM).
!here are also some hybrad memory types which combine
characters of both #%M and #$M, such as *lash memory,
+,#%M and --'#$M.
Type Volatile Writeable
Erase
Size
Max
Erase
Cycles
Cost (per
yte!
Speed
SRAM .es .es /yte 0nlimited -xpensive *ast
"RAM .es .es /yte 0nlimited Moderate Moderate
Mas#ed ROM +o +o n1a n1a Inexpensive *ast
$ROM +o
$nce, with
a device
programmer
n1a n1a Moderate *ast
E$ROM +o
.es, with a
device
programmer
-ntire
Chip
2imited
(consult
datasheet)
Moderate *ast
EE$ROM +o .es /yte
2imited
(consult
datasheet)
-xpensive
*ast to
read, slow
to
erase1write
%las& +o .es ector
2imited
(consult
datasheet)
Moderate
*ast to
read, slow
to
erase1write
'VRAM +o .es /yte 0nlimited
-xpensive
(#%M 3
battery)
*ast
Computer Memory" #%M and #$M