Interesting Details About Computer Memory, Cache Memory, Primary Memory, Main Memory, Secondary Memory, Ram and Rom
Computer Memory: Do you know that what is computer memory? We all use computers in our homes, in offices or elsewhere. But have you ever thought that what is the device that we need to operate these machines or simply to store our data and information?
If your answer is a memory device, then you have made a correct statement. But do you know how many types of computer memory? If not then this article is going to be very helpful for you.
Just like we humans need memory to remember something or for other tasks, just like a computer or any other device, they also need memory to operate properly. But the thing to understand in this is that there are many different types of memory. And whose functions are also different.
In such a situation it is very important to know about all of them so that we can use them properly according to our needs. Therefore today I thought that all your doubts regarding computer memory should be cleared today through this article so that you do not need to go anywhere else and you can understand these technical concepts very easily. So without delay, let’s start and know what is the fastest memory of a computer and how many types are there.
What is computer memory?
A memory is like a human mind. It is used to store data and instructions. Computer memory is a storage space in a computer, where the data that is processed and instructions that are needed for processing are stored there.
Computer memory is divided into small parts of many numbers which are called key cells. Each location or cell has a unique address, which varies from zero to memory size minus one. For example, if your computer has 64k words, then this memory unit has 64 * 1024 = 65536 memory locations. The address of this memory locations varies from 0 to 65535.
Memory is a very essential part of any computer because without it the computer cannot do even a simple task. There are two basic types of computer memory – Primary memory / Volatile memory and Secondary memory / Non-volatile memory.
Here Random Access Memory (RAM) is a volatile memory and Read-Only Memory (ROM) is a non-volatile memory.
Types of computer memory
People always have doubts about the type of computer memory. Which I would like to solve today. If seen, there are mainly three types of computer memory.
The main three types of memory are
- Cache Memory
- Primary Memory/Main Memory
- Secondary Memory
This is the fastest memory of a computer. Cache memory is a very high-speed semiconductor memory that speeds up the CPU. It acts as a buffer between the CPU and the main memory. They are used to hold data and those parts of the program that are frequently used by the CPU.
Parts of data and programs are first transferred from the disk to cache memory by the operating system, from where the CPU can easily access them.
Advantages of Cache Memory
Let’s get some information about the advantages of Cache Memory.
- Cache memory is much faster than the main memory.
- It consumes very less access time compared to the main memory.
- They store programs that have to be executed within a short period of time.
- They store the data for temporary use.
Disadvantages of Cache Memory
Let’s get some information about some Disadvantages of Cache Memory
- Cache memory has limited capacity.
- It is very expensive.
Primary Memory (Main Memory)
Primary memory only holds data and instructions in which the computer is currently working. It has very limited capacity and the data is lost in it when the power is switched off. It is generally made of a semiconductor device. These memories are not as fast as registers. The data and instructions that need to be processed reside within this main memory.
They are divided into two subcategories RAM and ROM.
What are the Characteristics of Main Memory?
- These are semiconductor memories.
- It is also called main memory or prime memory.
- This is usually a volatile memory.
- In this, the data gets lost when the power is switched off.
- This is the working memory of the computer.
- They are very faster than secondary memories.
- A computer does not run without primary memory.
What is ram
The full form of RAM is Random Access Memory. This is a part of the main memory of the computer that can be directly accessed from the CPU. RAM is used to read and write data that the CPU randomly accesses. RAM’s memory is volatile, which means that when the power is turned off, then the information stored in it is also lost. Most of the data and programs that are modified are stored in RAM.
Two different types of integrated RAM chips are available:
1. SRAM (Static RAM)
2. DRAM (Dynamic RAM)
What Is Rom
The full form of ROM is Read-Only Memory. Let us know about some of its characteristics.
1. It stores much important information which are required to operate the system, such as programs which are essential to boot the computer.
2. These memories are volatile means that even after the power is switched off, the data is not lost in it.
3. It is used in embedded systems or where there is no need to change any programming.
4. They are mainly used in calculators and peripheral devices.
Different Types of Read-Only Memory
1. PROM (Programmable read-only memory) – It can also be programmed by the user. And once it has been programmed, then the data and instructions that are in it cannot be changed anymore.
2. EPROM (Erasable Programmable read-only memory) – They can also be reprogrammed. To erase the data in it, they are expose to ultra violet light. To reprogram it together, you have to erase all the previous data.
3. EEPROM (Electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) – Data is erased in it by applying an electric field , with no need of ultraviolet light. We can erase all portions of the chip if we want.
This is the third and last memory of Computer Memory. This type of memory is also called external memory or non-volatile memory. It is much slower than the main memory. Its main use is to store data or information permanently.
CPUs cannot directly access these memories, instead, they have to use input-output routines. The contents of secondary memories are first transferred to the main memory, and only then can the CPU access them. For example CD-ROM, DVD, Flash Drive, Hard Drive, etc.
What are the Characteristics of Secondary Memory?
- These are magnetic and optical memories.
- It is also called backup memory.
- It is a non-volatile memory.
- Data is stored permanently in it, even if you have switched off the power.
- It is used to store data on a computer.
- A computer can also run without a secondary memory.
- They are very slow compared to primary memories.