Random Access Memory

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a type of fast memory. The Central Processing Unit (CPU), the brain of a computer, relies on RAM. RAM exists to this day. Every computer, including smartphones, contains RAM. The “random” in RAM refers to its ability to access memory anywhere, instantly, unlike a disk drive that must search for a piece of memory. This makes the memory much faster than disk drives.

Dennard’s RAM improved on core memory in that the individual units of storage were on silicon, not metal. This vastly miniaturized the memory, enabling countless units could be put on a chip.

However, unlike core memory, RAM has to be continually refreshed. Because the chips are made of silicon, they are fast enough to do this.

Although Dennard invented RAM as an IBM employee, it was Intel, a startup at that time, which most successfully commercialized the innovation.

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