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PC Technoids LLC

Memory Guide

ROM - Pronounced 'rahm, ROM stands Ior "read only memory" and is non-volatile.
This means that the inIormation is stored even when the power is turned oII to the
computer. Most personal computers contain a small amount oI ROM that stores critical
programs such as the program that boots the computer. In addition, ROMs are used
extensively in calculators and peripheral devices such as laser printers, whose Ionts are
oIten stored in ROMs. A variation oI a ROM is a PROM (programmable read-only
memory). PROMs are manuIactured as blank chips on which data can be written with a
special device called a PROM programmer.

RAM - Pronounced 'ramm, RAM stands Ior "random access memory" and is volatile.
Over the years a variety oI memory types have emerged including DIP, SIP, SIMM,
DIMM and most recently RIMM.

Data on the computer is stored on the computer`s hard drive, but in order Ior the CPU to
work with the data during normal operations, the data that the computer uses and works
with is read into the working memory, which is the RAM chips.

Over the years a variety oI memory types have emerged including DIP, SIP, SIMM,
DIMM and most recently RIMM.

SIMMS has 30 or 72 pins. You will not see this type oI memory in modern computers.
DIMMS has 168 pins.
RIMMS has 184 pins.

RAM is an acronym Ior Random Access Memory. There are two diIIerent types oI
RAM: DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access

The primary diIIerence between them is the liIetime oI the data they store. SRAM retains
its contents as long as electrical power is applied to the chip. II the power is turned oII or
lost temporarily, its contents will be lost Iorever. DRAM, on the other hand, has an
extremely short data liIetime-typically about Iour milliseconds. This is true even when
power is applied constantly.

When deciding which type oI RAM to use, a system designer must consider access time
and cost. SRAM devices oIIer extremely Iast access times (approximately Iour times
Iaster than DRAM) but are much more expensive to produce. Generally, SRAM is used
only where access speed is extremely important. A lower cost-per-byte makes DRAM
attractive whenever large amounts oI RAM are required and thereIore DRAM is used
more oIten.

Static RAM(SRAM) - SRAM doesn`t have to be constantly reIreshed. Uses a lot oI
power. Used in old IBM XT machines and was limited to 256K per chip.

Dynamic RAM(DRAM) - DRAM use capacitors instead oI transistors and switches.
Needs constant reIresh.
Windows RAM(WRAM) - SpeciIic to speed up graphical windows operations.
Video RAM(VRAM) - Uses a dual port access system to speed up video operations.
Extended Data Output RAM(EDO RAM) - Has a cache on the chip and is 10-15 Iaster
than DRAM. Requires a special motherboard.

Types of SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)

Async SRAM: is an older type oI SRAM. It is asynchronous, meaning that it works
independently oI the system clock.

Sync SRAM: is synchronized with the system clock, and increased speed.

Pipeline Burst SRAM: is the most common type oI SRAM. It is able to operate at bus
speeds higher than 66MHz.

Types of DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)

FPM DRAM - Fast Page Mode DRAM: is considered to be obsolete. It was mainly
used in the older 386 and 486 computers. It is not suitable Ior memory buses over

EDO DRAM - Extended Data Out DRAM: EDO RAM cannot operate on a bus speed
Iaster than 66MHz. EDO DRAM is Iaster than FPM DRAM.

BEDO DRAM - Burst EDO DRAM: is a type oI EDO DRAM that can process Iour
memory addresses in one burst. BEDO DRAM can only stay synchronized with the CPU
clock Ior short periods (bursts). BEDO DRAM is Iaster than EDO DRAM.

SDRAM - Synchronous DRAM: this DRAM can run at much higher clock speeds than
conventional memory. SDRAM synchronizes itselI with the CPU`s bus.
SDRAM memory is commonly available in 66, 100 and 133Mhz speeds, also called
PC66, PC100 and PC133 respectively. It should be noted though, that these values do not
reIer to the speed oI the memory itselI, but rather the bus and system clock speed oI the
systems it is rated to be used with. SDRAM is the memory standard Ior modern PCs.

RDRAM - Rambus DRAM: the Iastest current memory technologies used by PCs
(SDRAM) can deliver data at a maximum speed oI about 100MHz. RDRAM transIers
data at up to 800MHz.

DDR SDRAM - Double Data Rate Synchronous DRAM: a type oI SDRAM that
supports data transIers on both edges oI each clock cycle (the rising and Ialling edges),
eIIectively doubling the memory chip`s data throughput. It also consumes less power,
which makes it well suited to notebook computers.

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