Posted by: flavman | August 21, 2008

SRAM vs DRAM

The topic that I was studying today is very interesting. The advancements that have come in the last decade to RAM have been astonishing. Today I learned what is the difference between SRAM and DRAM.

First things first:
SRAM = Static Random Access Memory
DRAM = Dynamic Random Access Memory

Both of types of memory perform basic storage functions their methods of doing so are different.

The diference comes from the technology that each type uses to store information.

SRAM uses Transistors to store data while DRAM uses Capacitors to store data. (Click on the links to see their Wikipedia entries)

A transistor is a semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals. A transistor is made of a solid piece of a semiconductor material, with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor’s terminals changes the current flowing through another pair of terminals.

A capacitor is an electrical/electronic device that can store energy in the electric field between a pair of conductors (called “plates”).

SRAM

DRAM

  • Stores bits in a manner so that they will remain valid as long as the power to the chip is not interrupted
  • Its transistor structure makes SRAM memory much faster than DRAM
  • The structure used to store a bit of information takes up more space than an equivalent DRAM
  • Tends to be more expensive than DRAM
  • Stores bits data bits on rows and columns of capacitors
  • Because capacitors loose their charge over time DRAM requires data refreshing operations even if electrical power is applied to the chip
  • Cheaper to produce in larger quantities then SRAM
    • All RAM systems have the disadvantage of being volatile
    • Both types of RAM have the advantage of being fast and are capable of being written to and read from with equal ease

    I thought that was pretty cool.

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