The random access memory stores data magnetically

Semiconductor memory / electronic data storage

Semiconductor memory is used for the temporary as well as the unlimited storage of data, states and programs in the form of digital signals.

Electronic data storage devices combine semiconductor components, predominantly transistors, into integrated circuits in order to store data and information. For this purpose, special non-conductive materials, such as silicon, are specifically contaminated in order to make them conductive or non-conductive under certain conditions. The conductive and non-conductive states can represent the two binary states "0" and "1". The two states can be processed or stored with semiconductors. This means that there are electronic circuits that are used to store data and circuits that can read, write and process their content. The storage usually takes place in electrical charges or switching states.

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Classification of semiconductor memories based on memory access


This division of the semiconductor memory depends on the type of memory access. Semiconductor memories with serial access are known. This means that the contents of the memory can only be accessed one after the other. The shift register also falls under this type of memory. Since this type of data storage and reading is inflexible, there are semiconductor memories with random access. Here the memory cells are arranged in a matrix and can be addressed and addressed directly.
A distinction is made between content addressing and location addressing. The location-addressed semiconductor memories are the most frequently used semiconductor memories. These include the read-only memory ROM and the read / write memory RAM. The variants and variants of these two semiconductor memories also belong to the locally addressed semiconductor memories.

In electronic data processing, preference is given to random access memories (locally addressed semiconductor memories with random access) in which the processor has direct access to the individual memory cells. Random access memories include RAM used as main memory and ROM used as read-only memory.

Classification of the semiconductor memory based on the data management

In general, a distinction is made between the different types of storage or data storage in semiconductor memories:

  • Volatile semiconductor memoryin which the information is lost if it is not refreshed or if the power supply is switched off.
  • Permanent semiconductor memory, in which the information is stored once or hardwired and therefore unchangeable.
  • Semi-permanent semiconductor memory, in which the information is stored permanently and changeably.

Volatile semiconductor memory

Volatile semiconductor memories have the disadvantage that they lose their memory content as soon as the energy supply is switched off. Permanent storage is then only possible with an uninterruptible power supply. The reason why they are used anyway is that they are particularly fast and are therefore suitable as main memory.

Permanent semiconductor memory or read-only memory

Permanent semiconductor memories are digital read-only memories that CANNOT be reprogrammed or written to. The contents of their memory cannot be changed permanently. Permanent semiconductor memories typically contain operating systems, application programs and firmware to which no changes need to be made during operation. As a rule, ROM and PROM modules are not permanently soldered to the circuit boards, but can be exchanged using sockets.

Today, flash memory serves as a ROM and PROM replacement. Mainly because the memory content of Flash can be overwritten at any time, even during operation, and the memory content is retained.

Semi-permanent semiconductor memory or read-only memory

Semi-permanent semiconductor memories are digital read-only memories that can be repeatedly reprogrammed.

Today, flash memory serves as a replacement for EPROM and EEPROM. Mainly because the contents of the flash memory can be overwritten at any time, even during operation.

Electronic data memories or semiconductor memories for the end user

The end user does not receive the electronic data memory or semiconductor memory as individual components, but in combination as a finished product. In the form of SDRAM as a memory module with which he can upgrade the RAM of his computer. Or flash memory in the form of USB sticks, memory cards or SSDs, which in addition to the semiconductor memory also have a controller integrated in a housing.

Overview: semiconductor memory

Overview: data storage

Other related topics:

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