Computer Parts-Memory

The memory considered in this section is divided into two basic types.

  1. Random Access Memory (RAM)
  2. Read Only Memory (ROM)

The RAM can be explained as a device that temporarily store data. RAM can be read from and also written into. The key feature of the RAM is that when power of the computer is switched off the data in the RAM is lost (Volatile memory). As access to RAM is very much faster than to a permanent storage device, it is an inefficient method to read and write to permanent storage as it will simply slow the processing down a great deal.

Therefore during processing it is important to store programs and data in a temporary storage location. The Main memory has been developed for this purpose. The most common reference to the term ’Memory’ in a computer is when referring to the Main Memory. Main Memory is also referred to as the RAM by many.

Read Only Memory (ROM) as implied by the term is a type of memory which can only be read from. This type of memory does not loose its data when the power of the computer is turned off. The most common ROM in the computer is the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) ROM. The CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chip is also belongs to volatile memory since it requires power from a battery to retain the data once the computer is turned off.


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