Dynamic RAM, DRAM Memory Technology


Dynamic RAM, DRAM is also a form of Random access memory which is popularly known as RAM. The RAM is widely used in computers, laptops, and other processor-based systems. They are used as the basic memory form to enable the system. Though there are many semiconductor memory forms available, the Dynamic RAM- DRAM is commonly used in different forms of microprocessor and computer peripherals. For the past few years, DRAM has ruled the world of memory technologies and is widely used in every form today.

Understanding DRAM Technology

DRAM stands for Dynamic Random access memory and by its name; we know that it is a form of memory technology that is similar to random access memory. It stores data as a bit on a small capacitor in the memory cell. The capacitor can be charged or discharged accordingly and it will provide two states 1 and 0 for the cell. There is a chance for the capacitor to leak the charge and hence it refreshes the memory cell frequently. Since the memory cells are periodically refreshed it takes the name dynamic whereas the static memories need not be refreshed at any cause.

Advantages of DRAM

  • A normal static RAM needs six transistors but the DRAM only needs a single transistor which reflects the simplicity of the cell.
  • Secondly, the price of a SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) is expensive while the Dynamic Random access memory is cheaper and yet they provide a high level of memory density.

Disadvantages of DRAM

  • In order to operate a system, both DRAM and SRAM must be used in different areas so you cannot rely only on one type of memory.
  • Considering the power requirement for the DRAM, the DRAM used power to maintain the data and it is also known as volatile memory.
  • There are other memory technologies such as Flash that are known as non-volatile and have a capacity to retain data even when the power is removed.

History of DRAM Technology

Dynamic Random Access Memory came into existence after developments of the first microprocessors and its accompanied integrated circuit developments. It is, of course, a form of memory technology that started in late 1960’s. First, they started appearing on advanced electronic products and not on computers. In late 60’s magnetic memory was used in computers.

  • Toshiba calculator was invented in 1966 and it used the DRAM technology and after 2 years this idea was patented.
  • The second stage of DRAM was used in 1969 when Honeywell took over the computer market and when they started using the DRAM three transistor cell ideas on Intel.
  • Finally, a complete design of DRAM in Intel 1102 was implemented in the year 1970
  • The first implementation of DRAM in Intel was however not completely successful as it came up with a lot of issues and problems and the team worked on correcting the problems and ended up with the new Inter 1103 in late 1970’s.
  • DRAM technology got its new shape when MOSTEK invented their MK4096 in the year 1973. As the number indicates, the device had the 4K capacity. This new technology and its approach help the memories to use only few pins and yet store a lot.
  • This approach was welcoming and it helped in increasing the memory size and MOSTEK DRAM technology was able to gain 75% of the world market share.
  • Eventually, MOSTEK was taken over by some manufacturers in Japan who were able to make the best DRAM at best price without breaking the quality of it.

DRAM Applications and usage

  • Home and personal computers
  • Electronic component

DRAM provides a cost effective memory solution which is highly preferred and is widely used in many areas.

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