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What is Semiconductor Memory?

Semiconductor memory is a type of semiconductor device tasked with storing data. There are two electronic data storage mediums that we can utilize, magnetic or optical.

Magnetic storage:

  • Stores data in magnetic form.
  • Affected by magnetic fields.
  • Has high storage capacity.
  • Doesn't use a laser to read/write data.
  • Magnetic storage devices are; Hard disk , Floppy disk, Magnetic tape etc.

Optical storage:

  • Stores data optically, uses laser to read/write.
  • Not affected by magnetic fields.
  • Has less storage than a hard disk.
  • Data accessing is high, compared to a floppy disc.
  • Optical storage devices are; CD-ROM,CD-R, CD-RW, DVD etc.

There is also volatile memory. This is memory that loses its data once power is cut off, while non-volatile memory retains data even without power.

Semiconductor Memory Types

Semiconductor Memory Types

* RAM (Random Access Memory) : Enables Read/Write of stored contents

* ROM (Read Only Memory) : Allows only Read operation

Characteristics of Various Types of Memory

ParameterRAMROM
VolatilityNon Volatility
SRAMDRAMFeRAMMask ROMEPROMEEPROMFLASH
Data Storage MethodVoltage BiasVoltage Bias
+
Refresh
Unnecessary
No. of Read Operations10 billion
to
1 trillion times
No. of Rewrites0 times100 times100,000 to 1 million times10,000 to 100,000 times
Write on SubstratePossiblePossiblePossible××PossiblePossible
Read Time
Write Time-
Bit Cost
Larger Capacity
Memory Cell

Stored in a flip flop circuit

Maintains charge in the capacitor

Polarization of the ferroelectric material

Ions implanted in a transistor

Maintains charge in the floating gate

Maintains charge in the floating gate

Maintains charge in the floating gate

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