Memory - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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Random Access Memory (Ram)

When most people think of computer memory, random access memory (RAM) is what they mean. RAM is composed of chips. These chips can hold:

  1. data for processing;
  2. instructions, or programs, for processing the data;
  3. data that has been processed and is waiting to be sent to an output, secondary storage, or communications device;
  4. operating system instructions that control the basic functions of the computer system.

All data and instructions held in RAM are temporary. The contents can and do change as data are processed, programs are run, and instructions are carried out by the computer. RAM is a reusable computer resource.

Most RAM is said to be volatile. This means that when the power to the computer is turned off, or the power goes out, all contents of RAM instantaneously disappear and are permanently lost. Because RAM is temporary and volatile, other forms...

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This section contains 1,123 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Memory Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Memory from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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