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Memory

A memory is just like a human brain. It is used to store data and


instructions. Computer memory is the storage space in the computer,
where data is to be processed and instructions required for processing are
stored. The memory is divided into large number of small parts called cells.
Each location or cell has a unique address, which varies from zero to
memory size minus one.

Types of Memory
Memory can be divided into two types, volatile memory and non-volatile memory.
Volatile,. memory temporarily stores the data. It loses data as soon as the system supply is
turned it off. Non-volatile memory stores data permanently. It does not lose the data even if
the system supply is turned off. Further, memory is classified into physical, flash and cache
memory.

Physical Memory
Physical memory is the total amount of memory installed in the computer. For example, if
the computer has two 1 GB memory modules installed, it has a total of 2GB of physical
memory.

The Different types of physical memory are:


RAM – Stands for Random Access Memory. It is a semiconductor-based memory, where
the CPU or the other hardware devices can read and write data. It temporality stores the
data and it is a volatile memory. Once the system turns off, it loses the data As a result.
RAM is used as a temporary data storage area.
ROM – Stands for Read Only Memory. It stores the data permanently and
it is a non-volatile memory. H does not lose the data even after the system
turns oft As a result ROM is a permanent data storage area the different
types of ROM are.
PROM – Stands fur the Programmable Read-Only Memory It stores
programs permanently and is a non-volatile memory. Programming the
ROM is sometimes ii referred to as burning and it requires a special
machine called a device programmer or ROM burner Each binary 1 bit can be thought of as
a fuse. when a PROM is programmed. a higher voltage blows or bums the fuses at the
desired locations thus turning any given 1 into a 0. Due to this, PROM chips we often
referred to as One Time Programmable (OTP) chips.
EPROM – Stands for the Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. Ultra-violet (UV)
rays can remove the programs from this memory. It can be easily recognized by the clear
quartz crystal window set on the top of chip. An EPROM eraser is a device that contains a
UV light source that erases the chip by causing a chemical reaction, which essentially melts
the fuses back together.
EEPROM/Flash ROM– Stands for the Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only
Memory. Electrical signal removes the programs from this memory EEPROki can be erased
by an electric field, rather than exposed to UV. Also, the data can be erased bit by bit
allowing only selected portions of the code to be replaced But in case of Flash ROM, data is
rewritten in blocks of 512 bytes instead of bit by bit, sc rewriting is faster Flash memory can
erase or reprogram blocks of bytes where as EEPROM erases individual bytes.
This is also called hybrid memory as it reads and writes data similar to the RAM but,
maintains data similar to the ROM It is a mixture of RAM and ROM.

Flash Memory:-
Flash memory is the high-density device. It is a non-volatile memory. It is fast in reading and
writing data. This is because it writes data in chunks or blocks. Flash memory is an
electrically re-programmable device. The contents from the flash memory are erased in
blocks and not in bytes. The block size can range from 256 bytes to 16 KB. Flash memory
can replace hard disk in portable computers.

It is primarily used in memory cards and USB flash drives for general storage and transfer
of data between computers and other digital products. Some of the latest memory cards
include Multimedia card (MMC), Secure Digital (SD), CompactFlash, Memory Stick, xD-F
fire Card and SmartMedia.

Cache Memory
Cache memory is a small and fast memory which is placed between the
CPU and main memory. It is accessed at a very high speed than the
system memory. As a result, the programs which access the same data or
instructions over and over run faster. The CPU does not have to traverse to
the main memory to get the data. It will first access the cache to find the
data. Figure 2.6 shows the structure of cache memory.

CPU does a check on the cache to find the data, if the data is not found then it proceeds to
the system memory. This results in faster access to the data in the cache. But, it will be,
lagging if the data is not in the cache and on the system memory. This can be countered:
with modern hardware and better cache design. The time taken to traverse the cache it very
less as compared to the whole RAM as it is small and fast memory.
Cache Levels
Cache levels refer to the electronic pathways and connecting circuits via which cache
(memory is connected to the CPU. They also indicate the physical closeness of cache
memory to CPU. Most of the modern computers use two or three cache levels so the.
processor does not have to wait for longer time for information from the memory.
Different types of cache levels are:
►L1L1 cache is referred to the cache which is built in the processor. This is the rest cache
in the computer. This cache is also known as primary cache or internal The most common
size of this type of cache memory is 8 KB to 64 KB.
► L2– New CPUs like from Pentium pro onwards usually incorporate the L2 cache directly
on the processor chip. Earlier. L2 cache was located outside the processor i.e, commonly
present on the motherboard. The most common size of this type of cache memory is 64 KB
to 8 MB. L2 cache consists of two components.
► Data Store: This is the actual area where the cache data is stored.
► Tag RAM: This is a small area used to keep a map of the addresses of the system
memory which are cached in the data store.