A CDE Definition
random access memory
(Random Access Memory) The main memory in a computer, smartphone or tablet. RAM is the temporary workspace where instructions are executed and data are processed. What makes RAM "random access" is its capability of reading and writing any single byte. This "byte addressability" differs from storage devices such as hard drives, solid state drives (SSDs) and flash memory chips, which only read and write blocks of data (sectors) containing multiple bytes. In addition, RAM is used as a temporary space for the software, while storage is permanent until deleted by the user. To learn how RAM is used, look at the memory examples in computer. Also see memory, memory module and future memory chips.
RAM Is Mostly DRAM
The most common type of RAM is dynamic RAM (DRAM). When a computer data sheet states 4GB of memory or 4GB RAM, it refers to DRAM (see dynamic RAM). Higher-speed SRAM is also used as an internal staging area (see static RAM).
Memory Is Often Not RAM!
A smartphone or tablet's specification of 16, 32, 64 or 128GB of memory does not refer to RAM; rather it is the unit's flash memory capacity for storing apps and data. The amount of internal RAM in a mobile device (generally around 2-4GB) is published on a tech specs Web page (see storage vs. memory).
Old Fashioned RAM - 1950s
Core Memory - 1960s
Before/After Your Search Term
|Rambus DRAM||random file|
|RAMdisk||random number generator|
|random access||ransom note typography|
Terms By Topic
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