What is RAM in Computer? (Works, Types, & History)

RAM that stands for “Random Access Memory” is basically a Volatile form of computer memory that works to hold the working and continued data and machinery codes of the computer system. 

RAM is also referred to as; main or primary memory and also sometimes system memory. This is basically an apparatus gear that enables the users of the computer to store and run their information temporarily, that’s why it is said to be Volatile memory which is only capable of retaining the data while it is supplied with continuous power. Since RAM is a Volatile memory retainer it can only support you till the time it is given a continuous power supply. 

Random Access Memory is directly related to the DRAM memory module as the data in the RAM can only be retrieved Randomly rather than than a series manner similar to a Compact disc or other forms of storage drives where data transfer is much obtuse or slow. 

It can read and write the data or information in the exact time frame disregarding the substantial or physical ability of the data that is present inside the memory frame. 

If you compare it with other direct-access data storage devices including the hard drives, compact discs, DVDs, and other magnetic sorts of Tapes and CD’s, there the time needed by the RAM in terms of reading and writing speed is notably faster and it also varies in terms of physical availability upon the recording method and machine-related restrictions like media rotary speed. 

What is the work of RAM?

The computer’s memory or System memory i.e, RAM (Random Access Memory) acts as a short-term memory repository that works to carry the data/information that is actively running on the system or PC and which can be accessed quickly in whatever order the user may like. 

For instance, the more applications you run in your system, the more you’ll need RAM and ultimately the better performance your system will offer to you if you have more capable RAM. 

The multiple procedures and operations that you perform while you work on your computer like playing games, opening tabs on google, rendering an edited video – that’s all handled by the RAM. The RAM operates only on the smaller bits of data, not as the HDDs or SSDs which are designed to work on larger data portions 

What are the different types of RAM?

There are basically two major types of RAM i.e, DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access Memory). 

The DRAM is considered as the main memory of the computer system, where every single memory cell component is built from a transistor component & a capacitor including an integrated circuitry system with a bit storing capacitors. 

There is a drawback in the DRAM setup, in which it is seen that the transistors show some leakage after a certain point in time which ultimately discharges the capacitors and thereby letting the pieces of information groove out. Thatswhy, it is required to revive or refresh the DRAM by giving it an electronic charge every few seconds in order to keep the data intact. 

Whereas, if you talk about the SRAM it is fabricated through a set of 4 to 6-transistors, which works to hold up the data in the memory storage considering the time since power is given to the system, it does not work as the DRAM where the memory needs to be refreshed after a certain point of time through electronic charges. 

The SRAM is much faster and expensive than the standard DRAM versions and it is considered for usage in computers by manufacturers. 

Since there has been fast growth in the computer industry, there are many different sorts of technologies introduced which propose different variants of RAM. Some of the examples of RAMs include DIMM, RIMM, SO-DIMM, SIMM & SOO-RIMM, etc. 

The picture shown below is of an 8GB DIMM DDR4 RAM from the Crucial brand, this RAM stick is to be inserted into the memory slots that are present on the motherboard.

Some of the common variants of DRAM include SDRAM, RDRAM, DDR & SDRAM. 

The SDRAM integrates the memory pace with the clock speed of the microprocessor. So the memory regulator realizes the specific clock cycle when the mentioned information will be prepared. This permits the CPU to perform more directions at a given time. Average SDRAM moves information at speeds up to 133 MHz.

Whereas, the RDRAM which stands for Rambus DRAM has got its name from the brand/company that designed it, “Rambus”. This form of RAM was much popular at the starting of 2000 and it was mostly taken in use for video and gaming systems with high-end graphical units. 

Now coming on the last kind, 

The DDR SDRAM i.e, Double Data Rate SDRAM which is basically a kind of synchronous secondary memory that enhances the bandwidth of the SDR which is the single data rate SDRAM, and doubles the exact clock frequency on which it is running by applying the method of double pumping. This method greatly impacts the data transfer even on the time of ups and downs of the clock signals. 

The DDR2 and DDR4 were the successors of the DDR1 SDRAM and the DDR4 is the most recent and version of it and it is supposed that the DDR5 RAM will be the latest option that we would see in the market really soon. 

But the one thing that you will be seeing is constant in the operation methods & principles, but the RAM modules will not be the same as the ones in their predecessors. Every new and facelifted variant of the RAM module tries to serve something better than the earlier version whether it is higher data transfer rates or delivering extra-fast operations. 

RAM History

In the year 1833, Charles Babbage who is considered as the after of computer fabricated the first and one of its kind punched-card machine that consisted of the memory store which they called the analytical engine. 

After so long,

1932: At the starting of the year Gusta Tauscher made a basic drum-based memory. 

1936: Mechanical combination memory was made patent by Konard Zuse. 

1941: Lamp figure memory was built by Helmut Schreyer. 

1947: During 1947 many new variations and inventions were seen in-memory systems like the new magnetic core memory was introduced which also had the pulse controlling factor. This invention was done by Frederick Viehe, AN Wang, and their co-worker Kenneth Olsen. 

In 1947 itself completely different memory was invented that consisted of the Magnetic Random-access coincident-current drums. 

1947: During 1947 many new variations and inventions were seen in-memory systems like the new magnetic core memory was introduced which also had the pulse controlling factor. This invention was done by Frederick Viehe, AN Wang, and their co-worker Kenneth Olsen. 

In 1947 itself completely different memory was invented that consisted of the Magnetic Random-access coincident-current drums.  

1949: First and the most practical RAM memory was introduced by Maurice Vincent Wilkes which actually had stored programs in it with a vacuum tube memory feature. 

After that period after new changes were seen gradually in the RAM memory through new inventions and computer industry enthusiasts.

The RAM that we see today is a total solid-state RAM memory that was originally found in the year 1969 by Robert Dennard and to be more specific it is originally known as the Dynamic Random Access Memory or the DRAM where we can see the use of Transistors for bits data storage.