BIF 506

 Data and instructions from secondary storage
devices are transferred to main memory and cache
memory in small measures for the CPU to access
them for processing

 Magnetic core technology and semiconductor
technology have been used to make the main memory
of a computer system.

 The main memory of a computer is measured in
terms of two characteristics viz., capacity and speed
of access

 The main memory is made up of memory cells (can
store one bit of data)
 Memory consists electronic components called
semiconductor chips.
 Each chip contains several hundred thousand
transistors; each transistor represents the binary state
of a bit; on or off.
 Since a bit can store only one value either l' or 0, the
bits are grouped into sets of eight bits called bytes.
 One byte can store one character of data.

 Memory locations are numbered 0,1,2,3, ... ; the unique
number assigned to each location is called its address

DATA REPRESENTATION  Binary digits (bits)  A series of eight bits is called a byte  Kilobyte(KB or K)  Gigabyte (GB)  Terabyte (TB)  ASCII  American Standard Code for Information Interchange 4 .


It holds the data and instructions that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) needs.  RAM  ROM . Before a program can be run. The computer memory is a temporary storage area. This allows the CPU direct access to the program. Memory is a need for any computer. the program is loaded from some storage medium into the memory.

. it loses its contents if the device is electrically disconnected. Once the address of the location is given the processor can write one character in that location or read one out from it into memory from that location without reference to other cells in the memory. that is.  Contents of the memory remain there as long as electrical current is available to sustain the memory's pattern of positive and negative charges which represent the two bits 1 and O.RAM (RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY)  The word Random means that the computer can access any memory cell without accessing all cells sequentially.  RAM describes the way computers store and retrieve data and instructions from memory.  RAM is volatile.  Processor has direct access to each memory cell.

TYPES OF RAM  DRM  SDRAM  Static RAM  Video RAM  Flash RAM. .

the processor can improve its performance. But it requires frequent power refreshing to retain memory contents. SDRAM (SYNCHRONOUS DYNAMIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY)  DRAM that are synchronised with the clock speed of the processor.  Speed of SDRAM is measured in terms of Megahertz. .DYNAMIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (DRAM)  It is one of the least expensive RAMs.  If the speed of the SDRAM and processor is optimised.

But.STATIC RAM  Static RAM does not need frequent power refreshing as is required for DRAM. It is actually a buffer between the processor and the monitor. VIDEO RAM  It is used to store data for the video display monitor.  Much faster than DRAM. . it is more expensive than DRAM.

FLASH RAM  Flash RAM or flash memory is a non-volatile memory. It is used in PC cards of notebook computers. digital camera. . cell phones.  It can be erased and reprogrammed. embedded controllers etc.


 Many computers especially microcomputers come equipped with ROM chips that contain the operating system and application programs.  Programs stored in ROM chips are often called firmware.  ROM is used to store system instructions which are relatively permanent in nature. ROM is non-volatile.  Contents of some memory chips cannot be modified or rewritten. that is.  Used to store programs that are essential for the proper operations of computer system. software built into the hardware .ROM (READ ONLY MEMORY)  Uses Metal oxide Semiconductor Technology.

 EEPROM  Electricallyerasable programmable read-only-memory can be erased electrically and reprogrammed repeatedly. PROM  Programmable read-only memory can be programmed once. Once programmed.  EPROM  Erasable programmable read-only memory can be erased repeatedly and reprogrammed by the user. this becomes read-only memory (ROM). Erasing is done by exposing EPROM to ultraviolet light of a specific frequency.  Reprogramming requires special EPROM Programmer kit. .  Special circuitry is used for programming it.

 CPU searches cache before it searches main memory for data and instructions. .  Cache is physically located close to the CPU and hence access to cache is faster than to any other memory.  It improves the memory transfer rates and thus raises the effective processor speed.  Often used instructions are kept in this cache to speed up the fetching of instructions. Some processors use the cache as a work area also for temporary storage of intermediate results.CACHE MEMORY  Stores data and instructions currently required for processing.

instructions and memory addresses.  Register is a special storage unit. .  Volatile and are designed to improve the efficiency of CPU.INTERNAL PROCESSOR MEMORY  Made up of a number of registers used for temporary storage during processing.  Hold data. A typical computer has ten to twenty registers that are located in ALU and CU.

 The length of a register depends on the number of bits it can store. retain it temporarily and pass it on as directed by the control unit.  Can receive information.  Not treated as part of main memory and are used to retain information on a temporary basis.  Some registers are common to all computers such as instruction register. Thus a register which can store 16 bits is normally referred to as 16-bit register. etc. program counter register. .REGISTERS  Special memory units used to speed up the rate of information transfer between various units of the computer.

 Memory buffer register – It holds the contents of the memory word read from or written in memory. When an instruction is read from memory. . the address is loaded from the program into this register.  Program counter register – It holds the address of the next instruction to be executed by the computer. A word to be stored in memory location must first be transferred to this register from where it is written in memory.TYPES OF REGISTERS  Memory address register – This holds the address of the active memory location.

 Input .  Instruction register – It holds the current instruction that is being executed.output register – This holds all input information to be passed to the memory and also the output information to be transferred to an output device. the intermediate results and also the final results of processing operations. Accumulator register – It holds the initial data to be operated upon. .

 Computer storage or memory can be of two types:  Primary Storage  Provides very fast access and is used for storing frequently used programs and data  Expensive and volatile  Used for storing data and instructions mostly temporarily  Secondary Storage  Large files and databases are stored on secondary storage devices (larger storage capacity and is cheaper than primary storage). Also known as auxiliary storage  Access to secondary storage is slower than that to primary storage  Holds data and programs not currently in use .  Data and instructions from the secondary storage are moved into the primary memory for the CPU to access them  Supplementary to primary storage.


 Secondary storage devices can be  Serial Access Devices  Magnetic tape is a serial access device  Retrieving a data element from a storage location requires going through the earlier records right from the beginning of the file  Direct Access Devices  Magnetic disk.  The popular secondary storage devices are magnetic disk.  Direct access storage device stores each data element in a storage location with a specific storage address that can be individually accessed without referring to other data elements in storage. magnetic tape and CD-ROM. optical disk and floppy diskettes are direct access storage devices (DASD). .

 The disk platter is coated on both the surfaces with magnetic material and both the surfaces can be used for storage.  The magnetic disk provides direct access and is popular for both small and large computer systems.  The magnetic disk comes in two forms:  Hard disks and Floppy disks .MAGNETIC DISKS  Magnetic disks are made of rigid metals or synthetic plastic material.

To increase the speed of access.  The disk drive mechanism rotates the disk pack at a constant speed. housed in metal container with a read/write head assembly unit. is fixed inside a computer permanently. into a disk pack for large storage. one for each surface.  The disk pack.  The disk drive has a head assembly with a read/write arm for each pair of recording surfaces. . Each disk has two surfaces for storage. the read/write arm carries as many heads as the number of tracks on the disk. Each read/write arm has one pair of read/write head. Several such hard disks are stacked one on the other.HARD DISKS  Hard disk is a metal platter with magnetic coating on both sides.  The access time is determined by two factors: the seek time and the rotational delay. without touching each other.


Vertical Cross Section of Hard Disk and Arm Assembly .

 Disadvantages of Hard Disks  Hard disks are expensive. hard disks can crash. they slow down overall speed of performance of the computer . the entire data on them may be lost as data recovery is difficult and expensive.  Hard disks are essential for online systems. Advantages of Hard Disks  They support direct access.  They have quick access rates. Hence.  Hard disks are not always reliable. For example.  Speed and performance of hard disks are slower than that of CPU. If they crash.  They have fairly large storage capacities.

The floppies are popularly used on microcomputers.88 MB. made of synthetic plastic material.  The floppies were introduced in the early 1970s and became very popular with the arrival of microcomputers.4 -inches and 3 Yz -inches and vary in storage capacity from 360 KB to 2. are flexible. Floppies are cheaper and more rugged than metal disks.  They were available in many sizes like 5 1. .FLOPPY DISKETTES  These diskettes.

 The reel of tape is loaded on a magnetic tape drive unit.MAGNETIC TAPE  Conventional magnetic tape is in reels of up to 3600 feet made of mylar plastic tape. The tape has nine tracks. the tape is moved from one spool to the other in the same way as in the audiocassette tape recorder. out of which eight are used as data tracks and the ninth one for parity bit meant for error detection .  A frame records one byte and each bit in the frame is read/ written by a read/write head for that bit position. During any read/write operation. the tape is one half inch in width and is coated with magnetic material on one side.  The magnetic tape is densely packed with magnetic spots in frames across its width.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAGNETIC TAPES AND MAGNETIC DISKS  Magnetic tape supports only serial access.  Magnetic tape takes much more processing time than magnetic disk. Data are recorded in one sector fully before moving into the next.  Magnetic tape is divided length wise into tracks and data are recorded in tracks. In case of disk it is divided into circular tracks and sectors. as the access is serial. .  A number of disk files affected by a single transaction can be updated simultaneously whereas tape files have to be updated separately.  Accessing and updating of on-line disk files are much faster than tape files. Magnetic disk permits serial and random access.  Magnetic tape has much larger storage capacity than a magnetic disk. and data files have to be backed up for security.  Disk file updating process rewrites the old records.

STORAGE MEDIA  Optical storage technology uses light as the medium for representing data. Laser beams are used to store and retrieve data  Optical storage device  CD  DVD  CD-R  CD-RW  CD-ROM 31 .

 Well suited for storing relatively static data. When high intensity laser beam is focussed on the disk. it forms tiny pits on it  The pit reflects less intense light.CD-ROM (COMPACT-DISK READ-ONLY MEMORY)  This disk is made of synthetic resin that is coated with a reflective material. the light will be more intense in the case of the former as there is no pit. The reflected light is sensed to know the bit 0 from 1. usually aluminium. .

. erased and re-written as frequently as needed.CD-R  This is Compact Disk -Recordable. CD-RW  Compact Disk Re-writable (CD-RW) is an optical disk that can be rewritten many times.  Data stored on it can be read. The data on it can be retrieved as and when needed. It can be used to write data on it once.

DVDs are used to store full-length commercial motion pictures. Double-sided or dual layer DVDs are also available with much larger storage capacity. DVD system delivers a picture with over twice the definition of traditional storage like Video Home System (VHS) .DVD  Digital Versatile Disk (earlier known as Digital Video Disk.  Viewing quality is much better than tape storage.) is a large capacity secondary storage device.  Stores seven times CD capacity on a single side. video albums etc.  With such huge storage capacity.

Microfiche is small rectangles of cut films of size 2 by 4 inches to 4 by 6 inches.  These are compact and cheap storage media. they are generally used for archival purpose.  Microfilm consists of long filmstrips that are rolled up. .COMPUTER OUTPUT MICROFILM AND COMPUTER OUTPUT MICROFICHE  These are computer output media that use a film similar to camera film. Since they can store large amount of data and are not in human readable form.

 Technique treats secondary storage as an extension of the main memory and parts of a program are swapped in and out of the main store.  Enables a computer to run a program that is larger than its available memory size and it gives an illusion to the programmer or user that the computer possesses practically unlimited memory.  Another segment is loaded into memory when the program instructions required are larger then the currently loaded.VIRTUAL STORAGE  This operating system technique divides the program into pages or segments and each page or segment is loaded into memory in turn. .  At any given time only the page actually required is read into the memory from the backing store or secondary storage.

 Virtual disk is part of internal memory (RAM). the backing store is made to function virtually like internal memory through software. This speeds up CPU's access to memory .  Using operating system software RAM is divided into main memory and virtual disk. Virtual memory.