Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM)

Memory is the most essential element of a computing system because without it computer can’t perform simple tasks. Computer memory is of two basic type – Primary memory / Volatile memory and Secondary memory / non-volatile memory. Random Access Memory (RAM) is volatile memory and Read Only Memory (ROM) is non-volatile memory.

1. Random Access Memory (RAM) –

  • It is also called as read write memory or the main memory or the primary memory.
  • The programs and data that the CPU requires during execution of a program are stored in this memory.
  • It is a volatile memory as the data loses when the power is turned off.
  • RAM is further classified into two types- SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) and DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory).

2. Read Only Memory (ROM) –

  • Stores crucial information essential to operate the system, like the program essential to boot the computer.
  • It is not volatile.
  • Always retains its data.
  • Used in embedded systems or where the programming needs no change.
  • Used in calculators and peripheral devices.
  • ROM is further classified into 4 types- ROM, PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.

Types of Read Only Memory (ROM) –

  1. PROM (Programmable read-only memory) – It can be programmed by user. Once programmed, the data and instructions in it cannot be changed.
  2. EPROM (Erasable Programmable read only memory) – It can be reprogrammed. To erase data from it, expose it to ultra violet light. To reprogram it, erase all the previous data.
  3. EEPROM (Electrically erasable programmable read only memory) – The data can be erased by applying electric field, no need of ultra violet light. We can erase only portions of the chip.




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