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volatile and non-volatile memory

Posted on 2003-02-18
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What are differences between volatile and non-volatile memory devices?adavantages and disadvantages of this devices.
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Question by:cel_v
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slartibartfarst earned 150 total points
ID: 7980650
Basically, non volatile memory is used in situations where programs or data need to be kept while the device is  switched off.  e.g. the BIOS of a pc contains the boot routine and the basic device configuration and is stored on non volatile ram.  It is expensive though and therefore is not suitable for large memories because of the cost.

Volatile memory makes up the bulk of the RAM in a PC.  It is cheaper than NVRAM, but loses all information it was storing when the PC is switched off which is why you need to save things before you shut the computer down!
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by:kiranghag
ID: 7981466
volatile
  - fastest (read/write)
  - cheaper
  - small in size (comparatively)
  - less power requirement
  - commercially available in larger capacity (MBs-GBs)
  - do not require initialization (read below)
  - exp -> main memory
 
non-voloatile
  - comparatively slower
  - costly (due to extra ckt for storage)
  - take more chip area
  - require more power to drive
  - commercially available in much smaller capacities
  - may require initalization (epproms require complete erasure. even flash memory also requires AFIK)
  - exp. -> flash memory for BIOS
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