Computer Memory – Types and Functions


There are two major types of computer memory which are the primary memory and secondary memory. They both have similar functions but with many different features.

Primary memory:

Primary memory is a volatile memory. This means that anything stored on this will not be permanent. Any part of memory can be saved as data onto the memory, but it will not exist on there forever. Another name for primary memory is RAM, Random Access Memory. RAM will allow the user to add and remove content freely. The only down side of using this choice of memory is in the chance of a power failure, all data will be permanently lost. Some other forms of memory under primary memory is DRAM, SRAM, and DRDRAM.

Secondary Memory:

Secondary memory is the permanent form of memory. This means that counter to the primary method this one is permanent and external. Some examples of what secondary memory may be are floppy disks, magnetic discs, and cache devices. ROM, Read Only Memory is the archaic form of secondary memory, it can store a large sum of content. In case of a power failure, there will be no data loss. The three different external forms of memories are PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM. PROM (programmable read-only) is programmed in a special way, it can write almost any content on the memory, however, it cannot be erased by any program. EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is the improved version of the PROM. This memory can erase the content that you want to remove after it without throwing the entire device away. The user can delete the data of EPROM through pass on ultraviolet light and it erases chip is reprogrammed. EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read-only memory) is the following improvement made in secondary memory, specifically the EPROM. Using the EEPROM you do not need to use an ultraviolet light to erase the content, but it is possible to remove content freely. EEPROM is now known as Flash memory which is used every day by many computer users.


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