Often time, people aren’t able to make a difference between RAM and ROM; however, they are quite apparent. RAM is a temporary type of memory chip while ROM is a permanent storage.
Most of the common users aren’t able to make a clear difference between RAM and ROM. They use both in their PCs and smartphones, though. There is, in fact, a major difference between RAMs and ROMs of computing devices.
Random Access Memory or RAM
RAM and ROM are memory chips that store data but, the first one does it temporarily and other one permanently. Technically, RAM is known as a volatile storage. A volatile storage, in terms of PCs and smart devices, is a place where data / information stays until it’s connected to power source. It means all information is lost when power is turned off.
So when we use a PC or smartphone and open an application, it’s actually opened on the RAM chip. All operations, when a device is on, are performed on RAM.
Read Only Memory or ROM
ROM is quite different than RAM. A ROM is nonvolatile storage as known in technical terminology. It doesn’t require continuous source of power to store information. It means that information once stored in ROM does not get lost when the power is turned off.
So a ROM chip will still be holding data / information when a PC or smartphone is switched off.
Other differences between RAM on ROM
- No computing device, a PC or smartphone, will be able to switch on itself if its RAM is not functioning. RAM chip performs normal operation such as holding the opened apps once the device is started up and loaded by RAM.
- RAM rapidly processes tasks while it takes too much time to write on a ROM chip.
- ROM stores the core applications that run in processor whereas RAM holds data temporarily.
How were RAM and ROM named?
RAM was named as RAM because this memory can randomly be accessed without going through anything else. On the other hand, ROM was named as ROM because old ROMs are built with built-in programs or data; however both of these explanations have turned irrelevant in current computing scenario. Because PCs and smartphones nowadays use DRAM chips which are in fact accessed in bursts, not randomly. RAMs too are now built with flash disks that can write and erase data with an ease. Still, old terminologies are easier a way to make difference between RAM and ROM.
Examples of Computer / Smartphone RAM
RAMs are available in all computing devices we use today, including smartphones, PCs, smart watches and other gadgets. RAM is the fastest type of memory in a computer. The page you reading this information on, is also loaded on your device’s RAM and when you close this page, or turn off your device, it will be removed from the RAM.
Examples of Computer / Smartphone ROM
Basic Input Output System (BIOS) in a computer are a perfect example of ROM. It stores the programs or instructions required to launch the startup process of a computers like desktop or smartphone. We can also see ROM being used in original Nintendo and Gameboy gaming devices. They were available as game cartridge which stored games on RAM chip.