Memory is a computer chip or device that is used to hold data and instructions which are used by computer during the processing.
We can say that computer memory is the storage space for data and instruction in computer system.
Parameters on which we should focus while choosing a memory:
Capacity→ Capacity defines the size of the computer in terms of space. A memory can be thought of as a storage space with m number of addresses. Each address is capaple of n number of bits. So in this case the total capacity is mxn bit.
Speed→ Speed determines the time that elapses between the initiation of the operation and completion of the operation. Faster the speed more better would be the memory.
Bandwidth or Data Transfer Rate→ It is the maximum amount of information that can be transferred to or from the memory per unit time.
Memory is an important part of the computer system and should be chosen well. All the data and program that computers operates on is stored in the memory. So better the memory space/size and execution time better will be the perfomance.
Generally, momory that is large, fast and less costly are preferred by users. But its not possible to get all three in same package. If speed and size requirement is more and faster then cost increases.
A computer memory is divided into small parts known as cells. Each of these cells are assigned with unique address.
Why memory is required in computer?
To store data and information temporarily or on permanent basis.
To provide required data and instructions to the CPU for processing.
Classification of computer memory
Based on the type of use and feature memory unit of computer is categorized as:
Primary Memory /internal memory/Main memory
Secondary Memory/auxiliary memory
Cache Memory and Flash memory are another type of special memory apart from all of the above.
We will be learining about each one of them in the next few chapters of this computer basics tutorial.