Features and Types of Memory Chips
July 21, 2023

One of the most common electronic devices used in modern electrical appliances is memory chips. Memory chips are semiconductor devices used as internal storage in computers and other mobile devices. It is an integrated circuit comprised of thousands of capacitors and transistors, which are used to store data or run a code. Memory chips can store data both temporarily and permanently through random access memories (RAM) and read-only memory (ROM).


Features of Memory Chips

The following are features of memory chips to consider while choosing your preferred chip:

  • Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data a memory chip processes or moves within a determined time frame. The faster the processing ability, the better.

  • Access Time

Access time refers to the time elapsed from the moment the CPU calls for data to when it receives the data.

  • Data Rate

Data rate represents the number of bits transferred within the memory chip every second. It is expressed in hertz (Hz).

  • Temperature Tolerance

This refers to the range of temperature which a memory chip can perform reliably without any challenges.

Categories of Memory Chips

Memory chips can be grouped into two different categories such as:

  • Primary Memory: This memory is directly accessible to the CPU, and it comprises any data actively operated upon. One key example of primary memory is random-access memory (RAM).
  • Secondary Memory: Unlike primary memory, secondary memory is not directly accessible to the central processing unit and is used for permanent or long-term storage. While it is much slower to access than primary memory, it offers more storage capacity.

Types of Memory Chips

There are numerous types of memories you can select from on the market. However, it is essential to ensure that any chosen kind meets your device’s technology and application specifications and requirements. Below are the types of memory chips:

1. Dynamic Random-Access Memory Chips

Also known as volatile memory chips, DRAM chips are known for losing memory upon loss of power supply. DRAM needs to be frequently refreshed to avoid memory loss and can only transmit a single line of memory at any given time.

2. Static Random-Access Memory Chips

SRAM chips are non-volatile chips used in the production of portable powered devices. They need not be refreshed frequently like their DRAM chips counterpart and do not lose memory upon power outage.

3. Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) Chips

Memories stored on EPROM chips can be erased upon exposure to ultraviolet rays. They can be reprogrammed to fit in a new set of data values.

4. Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM) Chips

This type of memory chip can only be programmed once. Memories stored on such chips cannot be eliminated electronically or using ultraviolet rays.

Memory chips are vital components of electronic appliances. Before selecting a chip for whatever purpose, it is crucial to consider the type and features of the chip to boost the performance of your computer and other devices.