Importance of Semiconductor Memory

Computer memory typically consists of semiconductor memory, an electronic data storage device built within a semiconductor-based integrated circuit.

FREMONT, CA: Semiconductor memory, an electronic data storage device, is built on a semiconductor-based integrated circuit and is typically used for computer memory (IC). Numerous types of electronic devices employ semiconductor memory, including flash memory (or flash ROM), Read-Only Memory (ROM), and Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) (MRAM). These types of semiconductor memory are non-volatile, meaning that the contents of memory stored in the devices are retained even when the computer is powered off. Volatile, such as Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) and Static Random Access Memory (SRAM), can also be built on semiconductors. The distinction between non-volatile and volatile memory is that the latter requires a steady electric current to store data.

Many types of semiconductor-based computer memory can't be written to, including ROM. ROM holds popular computer applications for constant and consistent accessibility. Its applications include having persistent memory without an electric current and protecting critical data from harmful viruses. The Basic Input/Output System is the most popular and often used program contained in ROM. It is stored in the ROM so the computer's operating system can be loaded.

Flash memory, or flash, is an additional type of semiconductor memory found in computers, smartphones, MP3 players, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives, and digital cameras. Since these devices are portable and susceptible to losing power, having flash memory is advantageous because any data stored will be preserved regardless of the circumstances. Flash memory can erase entire data blocks, as opposed to bytes, and is found in devices that utilize applications that demand frequent updates. Memory cards and USB devices use flash because of its rapid data transfer rate and large storage capacity. These devices may also include built-in hardware encryption for password security.

RAM is another type of volatile semiconductor memory that may be read and written. There are various types of RAM, including SRAM and DRAM. The former saves data while electrical power is operating, but the latter requires an electrical charge to be refreshed every few milliseconds. SRAM uses less power and is faster than DRAM, but its construction is costly, and its storage capacity is smaller. DRAM offers a bigger storage capacity and is more typically employed for computer memory.