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TYPES OF MEMORIES (Computing) | Features and operation

For a different computer types of memory they are fundamental for its operation and even so that it can even work. We describe the types of existing memory, their characteristics and functions.

What is memory (in computer science)?

A memory in computer science it is a device developed based on circuits, which will allow a limited storage of information, so that later it can be recovered. The types of memory are diverse and according to their characteristics they are going to be their functions, but in broad strokes it is highlighted that they are keys for a computer to boot, for the data processing or for the execution of instructions.

What types of memory exist in computer science?

Then you can read:PARTS OF A COMPUTER | What are they and what are they for?

As mentioned, there are several types of memory that exist in computer science and this is due to different needs, functions, sizes, capacities and variables.

RAM (details and characteristics)

  • Description and characteristics It is a memory that is used for temporary storage of instructions or data. Likewise, RAM is known as a write and read memory, since data of this kind is read or written to memory. It stands out for being a volatile memory. Finally, there are two types that are, dynamic RAM (DRAM) and static RAM (SRAM). Its current average capacity is between 4 to 16 GB.
  • Applications It is a random access memory for reading and writing data, the wider the greater the performance of the PC. Temporary processes, file modifications or instructions are saved for applications installed on the computer to run. It is constantly used by the microprocessor when accessing it to save or search and temporarily information.
  • DRAM or Dynamyc Random Access Memory They are used in computers since the early 1980s and are still present in certain cases. They are a very economical memory class and their disadvantage is the low process speed, which is why manufacturers have modified their technology for better products.
  • SDRAM It is a derivation that began to be commercialized in the last years of the 90s and by this memory it is that the processes were speeded up significantly because it operates at the same speed as the motherboard where it is incorporated.
  • RDRAM It is one of the most expensive memories because it is complex to manufacture. It is only used in large and superior processors.

ROM memory

  • Description and characteristics The ROM or Read Only Memory, is a type of memory that is read only, highlighting that in most cases they will not be able to be modified since writing is prohibited. It is incorporated into the motherboard and has the instructions to start the BIOS. It is a sequential memory, so all the data must be traversed until the information that is needed is located, which differentiates the RAM where the work is random and therefore the access is specific and direct.
  • Applications As indicated, it is the one that allows the start of the BIOS that assumes the task of guiding the startup of the computer, inspecting the system to corroborate the components that work or verify the status of the hardware.

PROM memory or programmable read-only memory

  • Description and characteristics It is a digital memory in which the value of each bit (you can read more about this unit here) will depend on the state of a fuse, which can be burned only once. It is due to the above that this is a memory that can only be programmed once so that the data can be written.
  • Applications It is a type of memory that is used to write permanent data in an amount less than ROM or if the data needs to change in many or all cases.

SRAM memory or Cach memory

  • Description and characteristics It is one of the memories that the computer uses the most. The motherboard and the rigid disk they have their own cache memory, which in summary is used to protect different addresses that are used by RAM to perform various functions. In short, it stores the locations on the disk, which are occupied by programs that have already been executed, so that at a later time when they are started, access will be faster.
  • Applications In that address backup interaction for RAM, it enables the execution of programs that have already been installed on the PC.

Virtual memory or swap

  • Description and characteristics On computers with an operating system Microsoft Windows or Linux You will find this kind of memory. It is similar to the cache, but is created to be used exclusively by the operating system. For Linux is called Swap memory and it is located in a different part of the disk, while in Windows it is a file that is inside the operating system.
  • Applications It is a method through which the operating system will have more memory than what is already available. Sometimes applications will need access to more data than can be maintained in a physical memory, so virtual memory is used.

Flash memories

  • Description and characteristics They are derived from the acronym EEPROM and are those that allow a user to read or write in multiple positions of a memory during the same operation. In this sense, it allows a higher operating speed and marked an important change for technology by not having to act only in a memory cell for each operation. Broadly speaking, it can be argued that currently its size is 2 to 16 GB, but there are models in which these quantities are exceeded.
  • Applications The USB flash drives that are so used today for transporting files, SD or microSD or similar.

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