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Main Memory

Lecture 4 Day 5

What is Main Memory? Types of Main Memory Primary Memory



Memory is one of the most important component of the computer. It is a kind of storage that may be used for storing data and programs for future references, as well as used for processing instructions by the CPU.


Every computer has a temporary storage built into the computer hardware It stores instructions and data of a program mainly when the program is being executed by the CPU

Primary Memory

Physically, it consists of some chips either on the motherboard or on a small circuit board attached to the motherboard of a computer It has random access property It is volatile Each location has a unique address

Primary Memory

Primary Memory

Types of Primary Memory




Memory Chips

Primary storage of a computer is often referred to as RAM because of its random access capability RAM chips are volatile memory

Random Access Memory (RAM)

A computers motherboard is designed in a manner that the memory capacity can be enhanced by adding more memory chips The additional RAM chips, which plug into special sockets on the motherboard, are known as single-in-line memory modules (SIMMs)

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Types of RAM


Static random-access memory (SRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that uses flipflop circuitry to store each bit. SRAM exhibits data remainance, but it is still volatile in the conventional sense that data is eventually lost when the memory is not powered.


As this form of memory is less expensive to produce than static RAM, it is the predominant form of computer memory used in modern computers DRAM stores a bit of data using a transistor and capacitor pair, which together comprise a memory cell.


The capacitor holds a high or low charge (1 or 0, respectively), and the transistor acts as a switch that lets the control circuitry on the chip read the capacitor's state of charge or change it.


ROM a non-volatile memory chip Data stored in a ROM can only be read and used, they cannot be changed ROMs are mainly used to store programs and data, which do not change and are frequently used. For example, system boot program

Read Only Memory (ROM)

TYPE Standard ROM

USAGE Data is burnt by the manufacturer of the electronic equipment in which it is used.

Programmable ROM (PROM) Erasable PROM (EPROM)

The user can load and store read-only programs and data in it using special program called PROM. The user can erase information stored in it and the chip can be reprogrammed to store new

Types of ROM



USAGE A type of EPROM chip in which the stored information is erased by exposing the chip for some time to ultra-violet

Electrically EPROM (EEPROM) A type of EPROM chip in which the stored information is erased by using high voltage electric pulses. It is also called Flash Memory.

Types of ROM

Random Access Memory

Read-only memory

Data, instructions, and the ROM stores the program intermediary & final result. required to initially boot the computer. They are hardwired.


RAM ROM RAM allows quick access Data stored in ROM cannot and modifications. be easily altered or reprogrammed It allows reading and It only allows reading. writing.


RAM RAM is volatile i.e. its contents are lost as the device is powered off The two main types of RAM are static RAM and dynamic RAM.

ROM It is non-volatile i.e. its contents are retained even if the device is powered off. The types of ROM include PROM, EPROM and EEPROM.


It is commonly used for minimizing the memoryprocessor speed mismatch. It is an extremely fast, small memory between CPU and main memory whose access time is closer to the processing speed of the CPU. It is used to temporarily store very active data and instructions during processing.

Cache Memory

Cache Memory

L1 Cache Cache Memory L2 Cache

L3 Cache

Types of Cache Memory

Also known as primary cache, internal cache, or system cache. L1 cache is cache that is built into the processor and is the fastest and most expensive cache in the computer. The L1 cache stores the most critical files that need to be executed and is the first thing the processor looks when performing an instruction.

L1 Cache Memory

Short for Level 2 cache, cache memory that is external to the microprocessor. In general, L2 cache memory, also called the secondary cache, resides on a separate chip from the microprocessor chip. Although, more and more microprocessors are including L2 caches into their architectures.

L2 Cache Memory

Level 3 cache name comes in existence as more and more processors begin to include L2 cache into their architectures, as an extra cache built into motherboards between the microprocessor and the main memory. Simply once L2 cache on motherboards now becomes L3 cache when used with microprocessors containing built-in L2 caches.

L3 Cache Memory