August 15, 2022

Understanding Computer Memory and its types

Computer Memory

In computing, memory is a device or system that is used to store information for immediate use in a computer or related computer hardware and digital electronic devices. Computer memory is the storage space in the computer, where data is to be processed and instructions required for processing are stored. 

The memory of the computer system consists of two parts:

(a) primary or main memory
(b) secondary or auxiliary memory

Primary or main memory: consists of the RAM and ROM.

Random Access Memory (RAM): Data and information of the user are stored in the RAM before processing is done in the Central Processing Unit (CPU). This type of memory loses its contents when lower is switched off if data is not saved. There are two types of RAM namely: dynamic and static RAMS.

Read-Only Memory (ROM): This is a non-volatile memory and does not lose its contents or data when power is switched off. Data or contents are permanently stored in ROM.

Secondary Memory: This includes devices such as tape drives, floppy diskette drives, etc.

Tape Drives: Store data on magnetic tapes sequentially. They are otherwise known as Sequential Access Storage Device (SASD). Tape drives can record data at very high densities.

Floppy Diskette Drives: This is known as a flexible disk and holds data like a hard disk. If data can be stored on both sides, this is a double-density disk (DD) and if data can be stored only on a single side (single sides disk).

Its capacity ranges from 100 kB (kilobytes) I.e. (100 x 1024 bytes) to 1.44MB (megabytes)

Note: 1 kB = 1024 bytes

Cassette tapes: Audio cassettes can also be used to record computer data programmes permanently. However, the capacity and data quality are lower than regular computer takes or disks.

Adeyinka Meduoye

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