What is DRAM?

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What is DRAM?
DRAM stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory and is a type of computer memory wherein pieces of data are readily available for access. It differs from the static type of RAM or random access memory because it needs to be refreshed every now and then to retain data. Hence, it is called a dynamic type of RAM. Static types meanwhile have transistors to hold data, so no refreshing is needed.

Computers of today commonly use DRAM, including laptops, desktops, and even the game consoles of Sony Playstations, Microsoft XBox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii. Usually people refer to the specifications in their computer as having 1GB or 2GB of RAM. This actually means 1GB or 2GB of dynamic RAM.

DRAM will lose data when it is not refreshed every now and then. The cycle of memory storage involves data reading from the DRAM and writing back to it immediately afterwards. And since DRAM consists of small capacitors, some energy may leak if the data is not refreshed. When this happens, data corruption may result. But DRAM’s more complicated circuitry needed for the refreshing functions makes it slower than the static type (SRAM). It is also said to consume more power, which is very evident in devices that use batteries.

DRAM also has its advantages over SRAM though. DRAM needs fewer transistors and capacitors for its data storage functions. When compared with an SRAM module with the same number of transistors, DRAM modules will have about 6 times more capacity. This makes DRAM the most widely used type of RAM on computers of today, especially for large capacity requirements. But if users want more speed and less power consumption, SRAM modules may be the choice for them. Because it is faster and consume less power, SRAM modules are also commonly used in the computer’s cacheing functions.

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