The RAM is one of the most important components of your computer. This has seen major changes in comparison to the architecture.

The RAM (Random Access Memory) can no longer think away from a modern PC. In the early days there was absolutely no memory in computers, it only registers similar to the calculator.

History of memory

However, its history goes back to the early days of computers. Then the data were still storage forms, such as magnetic tapes and punch cards, secured. These were to be read sequentially – fast arithmetic register could download them for processing.This was followed by the drum and magnetic core memory. The latter saved the information in small ferrite cores. They worked with a cross-shaped matrix in whose core crossed one word and an address line. Was it not a permanent storage in this form of RAM. The data were lost during the reading process and were immediately thereafter entered into the ferrite core. Electricity consumed this random access memory only if has been read or written. Compared to today’s models, it was very large and the production much more expensive. Nowadays, there are a variety of memory types for different devices, the quality classes are different, as here is read.


Development in the 60s and 70s

Mid-60s already had a mainframe storage of over one megabit. In addition to the operating system that could simultaneously run programs run from external media and at the same time were internal data. These were the main features of today’s most widely used “von Neumann architecture” of memory.

Late 70s was then the development of the dynamic RAM. It releases the stored in a capacitor and the required per memory bit only one additional field-effect transistor. Its construction was to achieve relatively small and they needed little power. The information of the capacitor, however, can only handle slowly so they had to be written in milliseconds intervals over again. For this, read from an external logic, at periodic intervals the memory and put it back one more time.

Microelectronics brings new progress

Through the advancement of microelectronics increasingly replace chips (integrated circuits) to memory. Initially each bit required a separate bistable switches, and thus a relatively large area on the chip of the RAM. By this invention, it was possible to build home computers that used a portion of memory for the screen. The simultaneous access of the display memory and the processor to the main memory was now possible. The access time was with some 100 nanoseconds faster than in earlier RAM with a one megahertz clock.

Consistent access times but larger memory options per chip

Affordable dynamic memory today still has an access time of about 100 nanoseconds. This has evolved over time but little. The size of the chips, however, grew significantly. Today few GB per chip are no longer rare. In this direction is continuing the development of today’s memory. On this page, the latest models are available.