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RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is also called "direct access memory". Random access means that each individual byte in entire memory can be access directly. RAM is used to store data and instructions temporarily. A program must be loaded into RAM before execution.
RAM is volatile memory. It means that its contents are lost when the power is turned off. RAM is read/write memory. CPU can read data from RAM and write data to RAM. It is used to store data and instruction while it is being executed. RAM is also called main memory or primary storage.
RAM plays very important role in the processing speed of a computer. A bigger RAM size provides larger amount of space for processing. So the processing speed is increased. The amount of data that can be stored in RAM is measured in bytes. Most desktop computers typically have 2 GB to 4 GM of RAM. It also allows the addition of more memory if needed.
See also: Components of a computer system
Types of RAM
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
DRAM stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is used in most of the computers. It is the least expensive kind of RAM. It requires an electric current to maintain its electrical state. The electrical charge of DRAM decreases with time that may result in loss of DATA. DRAM is recharged or refreshed again and again to maintain its data. The processor cannot access the data of DRAM when it is being refreshed. That is why it is slow.
SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
SRAM stands for Static Random Access Memory. It can store data without any need of frequent recharging. CPU does not need to wait to access data from SRAM during processing. That is why it is faster than DRAM. It utilizes less power than DRAM. SRAM is more expensive as compared to DRAM. It is normally used to build a very fast memory known as cache memory.
MRAM (Magneto resistive Random Access Memory)
MRAM stands for Magneto resistive Random Access Memory. It stores data using magnetic charges instead of electrical charges. MRAM uses far less power than other RAM technologies so it is ideal for portable devices. It also has greater storage capacity. It has faster access time than RAM. It retains its contents when the power is removed from computer.
Different between SRAM and DRAM
- It is faster than DRAM.
- It is more expensive as compared to DRAM.
- It does not need to be power – refreshed.
- It utilizes less power.
- It holds data indefinitely as long as the computer is turned on.
- It is more complex and less compact.
- It is slower than SRAM.
- It is less expensive.
- It has to be refreshed after each read operation.
- It utilizes more power.
- It holds data dynamically not indefinitely.
- It is less complex and more compact.