Dynamic random access memory

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Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of random access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an integrated circuit. Since real capacitors leak charge, the information eventually fades unless the capacitor charge is refreshed periodically. Because of this refresh requirement, it is a dynamic memory as opposed to SRAM and other static memory.

The main memory (the "RAM") in personal computers is Dynamic RAM (DRAM), as is the "RAM" of home game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii), laptop, notebook and workstation computers.

The advantage of DRAM is its structural simplicity: only one transistor and a capacitor are required per bit, compared to six transistors in SRAM. This allows DRAM to reach very high densities. Unlike flash memory, it is volatile memory (cf. non-volatile memory), since it loses its data when power is removed. The transistors and capacitors used are extremely small—millions can fit on a single memory chip.


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