Computer Memory – Computer Basics

Introduction to Computer Memory:

Computer memory is the part of the computer system. In this part of the Teche Programmer we are going to learn about Computer Memory and its types such as Cache Memory, Volatile Memory, and Non-volatile Memory.

Definition of Computer Memory:

The message (instructions and data) required to be stored thus we use computer memory for storage. The computer’s memory is developed out of semi-conductor elements and thus it stores information in binary form. Binary information comprises two symbols 0 and 1, thus it is known as binary digits (bits).

We can partition a memory of a computer into discrete parts such as registers, Multi-level caches, Main memory (primary memory), and secondary memory which is explained below:


A Register is a memory used to access data fastly in the computer. A register is used to store the recently used data thus it is also used to transfer the instructions to the various locations within the computer and to the devices connected to the computer system.

A register is a volatile memory, and it is the fastest among many memories present in the computer. We also know them as a processor register because it can store a set of instructions, storage addresses, or any data within the computer.

Multi-level Cache:

A Cache is a volatile memory used by the CPU (Control Processing Unit) for fast access of data from the memory. Multi-level Cache is a subset of the cache memory. Therefore we can conclude that Multi-level cache memory is used to increase the performance of the cache memory.

Following are 2 cases for a better understanding of the multi-level cache and cache memory.:

Primary Memory:

Primary memory or the main memory is the memory that is directly accessible by the CPU. Example of a primary memory is a RAM (Random Access Memory).

Primary memory holds the recently accessed data and programs which are executed recently. Therefore we can use it for immediate access to the data within the computer.

They are costly while they have less storage space. Hence it increases the processing of any data within the computer. Primary memory is the last stop before being fetched, decoded, executed, and stored by the CPU.

Secondary Memory:

Secondary memory is the memory that is mostly used by a user or an operator. There are various examples for this such as ROM (Read Only Memory), hard disks, pen-drives.

Secondary memory is used for storing data for the long term thus the data can be accessed at any time by a user. Secondary memories are cheaper in cost while it has an enormous storage space.

It is used to transfer data from one computer system to another computer system. They are slower than the primary memory and are not connected to the processor directly.

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