Can you imagine if your memory works only till the time you are awake? Every morning you get up, your mind is completely blank! Sounds like a nightmare? But this is precisely the problem that computers have.
The majority of users aggregate RAM and Flash Memory together based on their similarities. Are you one of them? While the main memory of your computer is called RAM, Flash Memory is a storage medium. Both have notably different roles in a computer system.
When we talk about your PC or computer, RAM (Random Access Memory) acts as your computer’s running memory directly associated with the processor and enables the processor to read and write to it. Every time you run a program or an application, the processor assigns it a RAM memory location. Moreover, RAM is a volatile memory that resets each time when turned on or off. From PCs to smartphones to game consoles, RAM is an essential high-speed component that stores everything currently running on devices, like any web browser, image, editor, or the game you’re playing.
Sometimes your computer’s hard drive isn’t exactly where you want your key information or data stored. This is where Flash Memory is primarily used for storage where everything is maintained, even when the device is turned off. It is a non-volatile way of storing data visible in many forms: from USB memory sticks, camera memory cards like SD memory cards, right through to applications as computer solid-state hard drives where it is stepping into the shoes of traditional technologies that are slow, unreliable and insecure.
Memory Wars Wage on: RAM vs Flash Memory
Going by their nature, both RAM and flash memory have the edge over storage alternatives, like hard disk and tapes. But the battle heats up when RAM and Flash memory lock horns with each other. How?
Comparing flash memory with RAM speed, RAM is the clear winner, but it is also a higher price side. DRAM or dynamic RAM and SRAM or static RAM are the two types of RAM that are commonly used in computer systems. SRAM is the fastest, but it is way more expensive than DRAM.
On the flip side, flash memory is much more affordable. Not only it is non-volatile, but can hold data even without power, unlike RAM. What about the speed? Well, flash memory speed is significantly slower than RAM. However, its lower power consumption, persistent nature, and lower cost make it the right solution for easy and fast data storage in computers, digital cameras, and home video game consoles.
How Does Flash Memory Work? Achieve A Better Performance
The flash memory architecture consists of a memory array assembled with a large number of flash cells. Made up of solid-state chips, flash memory utilizes a different transistor that stays switched on or off even when there is no power source. They function on the concept of the logic gate type called NAND that was developed to help drive down flash memory costs per bit and enhance the chip capacity. Unlike DRAM and SRAM, flash memory can be erased in large blocks.
Today, flash memory lasts much longer due to software capabilities and is the least expensive semiconductor memory form. Enterprise storage systems strengthened with flash drives bring low latency to the table, measured in microseconds or milliseconds.