*Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Memory consist of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of process data. Memory usually consist of one or more chips on the motherboard or some other circuit board in the computer.

The computer memory stores three basic categories of items: the operating system and other system software that control or maintain the computer and its devices; application programs that carry out a specific task such as word processing; and the data being processed by the application programs and resulting information. The role of memory to store both data and programs is known as the store program concept.

The basic storage unit in memory is known as the byte(character). When application program instructions and data transfer into memory from storage devices, the instructions and data exist as these bytes. Each bite resides temporarily in a location in memory called an address. Okay let me give you an example; let’s say you have entered a classroom, that particular classroom has 36 seats and all of them are empty. The teacher enters his or her seat; that’s one chair down. You have entered another seat; which is another taken up. Now you have 34 seats left; also take note that each seat is numbered and labeled. Now the rest of the class comes in and fills the rest of the seats. Now you have a full classroom with all seats filled in. Now when the class session is over, all the seats have not been emptied for that day.

Now let’s put this into computer terms: an address in memory holds one single byte; both the seats and the address can be empty; the seat has an unique identifier and so does a memory address. To access all of this data in memory, the computer references the address that contain bytes of data. This is much similar to the teacher asking a student to perform a task. If a student lazes about, they get punished. Well in a computer term, if a byte is not performing its task then it goes towards another bite in the address. Storage devices hold data and instructions for future use, while most memory holds these items temporary.

The system unit contains two types of memory, volatile and nonvolatile:

Volatile memory is memory which contents are lost when the device is powered off. RAM is thia and, as a result, serves as a short-term storage location. It requires power to retain stored information which means that this is vastly more expensive per unit than its counterpart, but much quicker to access, hence its use as temporary memory. That’s WHY the bytes tend to be lower; a few GBs these days for now.

Non-volatile memory however does not lose its contents when the power is removed from the computer. ROM is this and as a result serves as long-term storage. Think of it like your brain storing information when you read a book or retaining information on what is said or what happened to you. It stays in your brain for quite a while and in some instances, the actions you take from remembering what happened comes like clockwork. Uses are typically referring to when somebody asks you about non-volatile memory, they are talking about storage devices such as the hard drive, flash disks etc. and the only way these can be removed if the user deletes the information on them. The other way which is worse happens to be magnets as they corrupt data when you put them near said storage devices.

Well this is about covers it about the memory of a computer.

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