Memory is basically a device that has the capacity to store information. Moreover, it is the most important component of a computer system as it cannot perform even simple tasks without it. Basically, the computer memory is of two types namely, primary memory (Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM)) and secondary memory (CD, DVD, hard disk, etc). Let us study the random access memory in detail.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the internal memory in the computer’s CPU which stores different types of data and information as per the requirement. Moreover, we can also call it the main memory, primary memory, or read/write memory. RAM stores all the data that the CPU requires during the execution of a program. Moreover, it is a volatile memory i.e. it loses data as soon as the power is cut off.

Besides, as per its name, the data access is in a random manner. This means that we can access any random location in the memory without even knowing the address of the previous location. Since RAM is a volatile memory hence, a backup is present in most of the systems in the form of an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). Moreover, the speed and performance of a system are directly proportional to the size of RAM.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Types of Random Access Memory (RAM)

There are basically two types of RAM. They are as follows:

  1. SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
  2. DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)


The word static denotes that the data stays in the memory but only till the power supply is ON. Furthermore, it is a chip having 6 transistors and no capacitors. The SRAM uses more chips than the DRAM for the same storage amount. And hence the cost of manufacturing is greater than that of a DRAM.

Moreover, due to the fast accessing time, SRAM is used as the cache memory. We can list the characteristics of SRAM as follows:

  • Contains circuits similar to D flip flops.
  • Expensive in nature.
  • It requires more power.
  • Contents remain safe until power is ON.
  • Fast accessing time than DRAM.
  • Cannot store much data on a single chip hence, requires more chips.
  • Heat generation is more.
  • Act as cache due to fast accessing speed.
  • There is no need to refresh it again and again.


In this memory, we have to refresh it, again and again, to store the data. Furthermore, it performs this task by placing memory on the refresh circuit which rewrites the data many times. It consists of only one transistor and one capacitor. We can list the characteristics of DRAM as follows:

  • It is made up of capacitors which leks the data and hence we need to refresh it several times.
  • It is inexpensive.
  • Requires less power.
  • It needs a recharge or refresh every millisecond to maintain the data.
  • Slow accessing time than the SRAM.
  • It can store many bits on a single chip.
  • Less heat generation.
  • It acts as the main memory.
  • Smaller in size.

Difference Between SRAM and DRAM

The differences between SRAM and DRAM are as follows:

It is less costly.It is more expensive.
Slow performance since the access time is more.Access time is much faster, synchronizes with the CPU. Hence, performance is better.
It is used as the main memory.It is used as the level 1 or level 2 cache memory.
One cell consists of one transistor only. Moreover, multiple cells can adjust in the space.One cell consists of 6 transistors. Moreover, fewer cells can adjust in the space.
Power consumption is less.Power consumption is more.
Storage capacity is more.The storage capacity is less.
Volatile and also requires circuits for refreshing the data.It is also volatile but the data stays in memory during the power supply without any refreshment.
It is present as the main memory on the motherboard.SRAM acts as a cache, therefore, present between the CPU and main memory.

ROM (Read Only Memory)

It is also the primary memory but it is not volatile in nature. Besides, the data remains in memory even after the power supply stops. Furthermore, it stores information that is necessary to operate the system. For example, it stores the booting program while starting the system. It is of three types namely, PROM (programmable read only memory), EPROM(erasable and programmable read only memory), EEPROM(electrically erasable and programmable read only memory).

Difference Between RAM and ROM

It is temporary storage.It is permanent storage.
Storage capacity is in MBs.Storage capacity is in GBs.
It is volatile in nature.It is non-volatile in nature.
Stores the data and information of the programs and applications currently on the system.On the other hand, it stores programs during the startup of the system.
We can access and change the data.We can only read the data.
Speed is high.Speed is much less in comparison to RAM.
It is expensive.It is less expensive than RAM.
RAM is used as the cache or primary memory. The firmware uses it as microcontrollers.
Its types are SRAM and DRAM.Its types are PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is RAM?

A1. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the internal memory in the computer’s CPU which stores different types of data and information as per the requirement.

Q2. What are the other names for RAM?

A2. We can also call it the main memory, primary memory, or read/write memory.

Q3. RAM is a:

a) volatile memory

b) non-volatile memory

A3. a) volatile memory

Q4. What is a volatile memory?

A4. Volatile memory means the data is not stored permanently. The memory loses data as soon as the power supply stops. RAM is a volatile memory while ROM is non-volatile in nature.

Q5. What are the types of RAM?

A5. RAM has two types as follows:

  • SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
  • DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)

Q6. What is the use of SRAM and DRAM?

A6. The SRAM acts as the cache memory whereas the DRAM acts as the main memory.

Q7. What is the full form of ROM?

A7. Read Only Memory.

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