DRAM Market: Re-engineering the Decision Making

April 2021

DRAM stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory which is a form of computer memory in which the storage cells (orbits) consist of a capacitor and one or more transistors. The charge on the capacitor is refreshed periodically after being read or written, as long as its address remains within the physical boundaries of DRAM. 

This blog post will go into more depth about what DRAM is, how it works, and why it's so important to modern computing. We'll also talk about what makes up RAM, what you can do with it creatively (i.e. hacks), and the differences between RAM types (e.g. DDR vs SDRAM). 

To better understand what DRAM is, you should read the Wikipedia article first, then come back here for further reading. You can also see an animated video demonstration of a DRAM cell at work: 

What is DRAM? 

DRAM devices are made up of memory cells, which store one bit of information per transistor. The layout of the memory cells in a DRAM chip are similar to a transistor's IO pin on a computer motherboard (but one transistor each). A row of memory cells (or "module") occupies one IO lane on a DRAM module, and each column (or "block") comprises several rows. 

Each DRAM module has its own address (and data) pins, which let you read and write the individual bits within the memory cells. In this way, each memory cell can be accessed individually. 

An unorganized DRAM chip. Each horizontal line contains several memory cells, each with their own "bit" (pin). BOM is RAM test equipment used to debug RAM errors. If you're an electronics or computing enthusiast, then a knowledge of DRAM is something that many beginners won't find to be useful. However, if you happen to be in the market for a new graphics card, this is something that you should know about. 

DRAM stands for 'dynamic random-access memory', which simply means it's the type of memory we use on our PCs and laptops. It's a type of computer storage which can be 'randomly accessed' - meaning it can give us information whenever we ask for it, in contrast with magnetic or optical storage drives. They have their place and time, but don't offer the same amount of speed or security as DRAM does. 

The main advantage of DRAM is its small size, which lets you physically pack a lot of bits on a single chip. This enables DRAM to bring the cost per bit down dramatically, and makes it useful for large-scale data storage. In addition, since DRAM can be accessed individually, it's ideal for use with high-speed CPU caches and graphics illustrations. DRAM is also capable of providing us with a high amount of storage - at least 2GB, and so it's used on computers to provide system memory. Basically, it allows the CPU to more quickly access information that's stored on your hard disk drive (or SSD). This means when you're loading applications or doing whatever task requires the use of the computer, then you'll notice that it happens faster than before. 

However, this kind of memory isn't perfect. For example, as soon as you turn off your computer then any data in DRAM is erased, since it relies on a constant electric charge to keep information stored. 

DRAM has a few disadvantages as well, the biggest one being that it needs constant refreshing to hold data (i.e. all memory cells need to be constantly recharged). This refresh operation is very power-hungry and thus drains your laptop battery quickly when most devices are in use.

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