Computer memory is responsible for a wide variety of tasks in the modern computer system.
How Memory is organized?
Let's get started by seeing how computer memory is organized. Think of memory in a PC as many 'boxes' to store numbers. Each box has a unique address. Collections of these boxes work together to store meaningful instructions that can be interpreted by programs.
The numbers stored in individual bytes in memory range from 0 to 255. For those more technically inclined, this is really what can be represented by 8 bits. Each 'box' stores 1 byte and 1 byte = 8 bits.
Parameters Defining a Memory Module
Capacity - Each memory module is designed to hold a specific number of bytes. The capacity of a memory module is the number of bytes it can store.
Width - This one is a bit technical. Memory modules are also assigned a width - which determines the number of bits the memory can access at one time.
Access time - It takes time for the memory to read its 'number' and get it ready for the CPU to use. This is known as the access time. But do remember that a faster access time doesn't mean your PC will run faster. The speed is still controlled very much by the speed of your CPU.
Cycle time - The cycle time defines the minimum time from one memory operation to the next. If you add the access time to the time the module needs to recover and start the next operation, you will get the cycle time of the memory module.
Now, the bandwidth of the memory - the amount of data it can read and write per second - depends on its width, access time, and cycle time.