Memory - Volatilty / Permanent

About

When the power is removed, the memory device (storage media) is considered:

  • volatile memory if the data vanishes
  • permanent (non-volatile) memory if the data remain stored

When the data is stored on a volatile device, the data is said to be volatile

Type

Non-volatile / Permanent memory

The data will retain the stored information even if it is not constantly supplied with electric power. It is suitable for long-term storage of information. Nowadays used for most of secondary, tertiary, and off-line storage. In 1950s and 1960s, it was also used for primary storage, in the form of magnetic core memory.

List:

Volatile memory

Requires constant power to maintain the stored information. The fastest memory technologies of today are volatile ones (not a universal rule). Since primary storage is required to be very fast, it predominantly uses volatile memory.

List:

  • Processor registers – fastest possible access (usually 1 CPU cycle), only hundreds of bytes in size
  • the main memory system RAM and controller cards

Documentation / Reference


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