You are quite comfortable with the word “Memory”. In many ways, our memories make us who we are. It helps us to remember our past, learn and retain skills, and plan for the future.
For computers also that often act as extensions of ourselves, memory plays much the same role, whether it’s a three-hour movie, a tow-word text file, or the instructions for opening either, everything in a computer’s memory takes the form of basic units called bits, or binary digits.
So, what is computer memory?
Computer memory is an internal storage area in the computer. The term memory identifies data storage that comes in the form of chips, and the word storage is used for memory that exists on the tapes or disks like hard disk, compact disk(CD).
You might have heard of terms – RAM and ROM.
RAM and ROM are the computer’s internal storage areas. Now, you might wonder why there are two types of memory?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is a volatile memory, i.e anything present in RAM is erased when the computer is switched off. That is why it is also called temporary memory. When we use any software while working on a computer, it is stored and accessed from RAM.
ROM stands for Read-Only Memory. It is a computer memory on which data has been pre-recorded and it cannot be removed. It is a non-volatile memory, i.e anything present in ROM is not erased, even when the computer is switched off. That is why it is called permanent memory. It contains vital information that is needed by the computer to operate such as instructions for the booting process. These instructions are recorded by the manufacturer of the computer system.