Random Access Memory, also known as RAM, is short term memory. It is a fundamental part of all computers. Although RAM is a type of storage, it is different from Serial Access Memory (SAM) - which accesses cells sequentially. It, unlike SAM, is used to store information temporarily, and was designed in such a way that accessing that information can be done unbelievable quickly. This speed comes from the fact that information stored on RAM can be accessed randomly. Any cell can be accessed at any moment, rather than having to sequentially search through each cell until the desired information is found (as is true with ROM).
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Logic is not possible without memory. Nothing, be it a human or a machine, cannot process anything without a place to store information. When the first computers were being made, their memory systems were based around vacuum tubes (like the ones in CRT monitors) which were turned on and off to represent zeroes or ones. This type of memory was extremely limited, as it required notable amounts of heat to perform even the most basic calculations. It seemed that the capabilities of computers would always be limited by the limitations vacuum tubes have. That was until transistors came along. Transistors started off palm sized, but have since then greatly decreased in size. Now transistors can perform 300 billion calculations per second. Because of this leap in technology, RAM came into being.
Without RAM Edit
Without RAM, the world would be a very different place. If the only type of memory storage was some type of SAM (such as ROM), all of our computers would be much slower. If memory cells had to be searched sequentially, processing speed would be greatly inhibited. Without RAM, the rise of the personal computer and the internet explosion would have been greatly delayed.
Works Cited Edit
What is RAM and Why do I Need It? — http://www.archmemory.com/page.cfm/FAQ%20-%20What%20is%20RAM%20and%20why%20do%20I%20need%20it
A Trip Down Memory Lane — http://wccftech.com/history-ram-trip-memory-lane/
The Transistor — The Most Important Invention of the 20th Century —http://www.computerworld.com/article/2538123/computer-processors/the-transistor--the-most-important-invention-of-the-20th-century-.html?page=2