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RAM, ROM, and Flash Memory

So, what are RAM, ROM, and flash memory? All three are kinds of computer memory, but RAM, ROM, and flash memory interact each in their own way with the data that they store. Here’s a quick explanation of each kind of memory:

  • RAM: Stands for random access memory; refers to memory that the microprocessor can read from and write to. When you create something in memory, it’s done in RAM.

    RAM is memory and vice versa.

  • ROM: Stands for read-only memory. The microprocessor can read from ROM, but it can’t write to it or modify it. ROM is permanent. Often, ROM chips contain special instructions for the computer — important stuff that never changes. The microprocessor can access information stored on a ROM chip whenever it needs to. The instructions are always there because they’re not erasable.

  • Flash memory: A special type of memory that works like both RAM and ROM. You can write information to flash memory, like you can with RAM, but that information isn’t erased when the power is off, like it is with ROM.

    Sadly, flash memory isn’t as fast as RAM, so don’t expect it to replace standard computer memory any time soon.

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