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Primary storage devices

The primary storage devices are internal memory in a computer that holds what a user is working on for a short period. It is also known as main storage, Random Access Memory, main memory where data is kept for quick access by the Central Processing Unit CPU. The Random Access Memory (RAM) loses data immediately when the computer is switched off.

However, ROM holds data even when the computer applications are not running.

The relationship between RAM, ROM, and CPU

When a user is performing some tasks on a computer, the applications he is using rely on Random Access Memory to enable them to execute instructions. RAM is the primary storage unit that stores data temporarily when data is input into the application while they are running. When the computer is turned off the data on applications is lost. It has direct access to the central processing unit (CPU), through a system known as a bus.

On the other hand, Read-Only Memory is a non-volatile primary storage device that stores data permanently even instances when the computer is switched off. RAM works tandemly with the central processing unit (CPU). As the brain of the computer, the CPU contains chips that retrieve data from RAM. The CPU chip retrieves data from the RAM. The chip then collects instructions, processes data, and releases it to the next designated section. Moreover, all the primary storage devices in a computer work in conjunction with CPU, operating system, and perform tasks as a team through the help of memory. When the computer is switched on, the computer fetches data from the read-only memory(ROM) and carries out a power-on self-test (Post to verify that every unit is performing as required. During this test, the memory inspects or the memory addresses in a read and write process to confirm there are no errors. Read/write implies that data is written to a bit and thereafter read from the next bit.

Types of primary storage

There are various types of primary storage devices/ memory that ensure the computer functions properly. The primary storage device can be either volatile or non-volatile.The volatile memory always loses data when the computer is switched off but the non-volatile devices store data permanently meaning they are similar to secondary memory devices.

There exist two types of RAM which include; Dynamic(DRAM) RAM and static (SRAM). DRAM means Dynamic RAM and it is common in many computers. DRAM has capacitors of a transistor that saves data in a few milliseconds when power is turned on. The first computers used a single data rate (SDR) DRAM, but modern computers use dual data rate (DDR) DRAM which is faster. The other type of RAM is known as SRAM which means Static RAM and it is built with six transistors in each particular cell making it powerful faster. As a result, the Static RAM works as a data cache within a CPU where a significant speed is needed.

For ROM, 3 main types include PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.PROM stands for Programmable Read-Only Memory and it is produced in an empty state(blank) and programmed later to fill programs. The other type of ROM is EPROM and it stands for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. The data in EPROM can be deleted and reprogrammed. The last type of ROM is EEPROM and it stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. In EEPROM, all the programming and erasing are exclusively done electrically. It can be reprogrammed and erased in several ties.

Bottom line Primary storage devices play a critical role in the functionality of gadgets. As noted above, some are volatile while others are non-volatile. Therefore, they can either store data temporarily or permanently and most modern computers come with both primary memory devices to ensure that even when power is lost the data can be easily recovered without much cost. So, without these primary storage devices, the computer cannot be able to run efficiently.

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