Types of Memory Chips

By Stephanie Daniels

A memory chip is a small computer device used to store information, data or a program that is run on a computer or other electronic device that runs like a computer, such as a camera or video game console. There are several different types of memory chips, although some are more commonly used than others.


Dynamic random access memory chips or DRAM chips is a memory cell requiring refreshing because it transits only single lines of memory. A DRAM chip has numerous small capacitors that contain each memory bit. DRAM chips do not hold change and need to be refreshed in order to keep the contents on the chips from being lost. DRAM chips are commonly referred to as volatile memory chips because they lose their memory when power is lost. DRAM chips are used in some computers that are constantly hooked to power supplies.


SRAM chips are static random access memory chips. SRAM chips are non-volatile memory chips and do not require refreshing or power to keep memory intact. SRAM chips are most common in portable battery powered devices like laptops, cameras, cell phones and video game consoles.


FIFO memory chips or First-In First-Out memory chips are used in applications that are used between different devices. The devices work at different speeds, so the FIFO memory chips are necessary to buffer the memory between the two devices. Flash or jump drives that are used to transport memory between different computers and types of computers use FIFO memory chips.


EPROM chips are erasable programmable read-only memory. These types of memory chips can be erased when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. When erased, the ERPOM chips can then be reprogrammed to contain a new set of data or reused to house a different program. A variation of this type of memory chip is the EEPROM chip that can be erased electronically rather than with UV light.


PROM chips are programmable read-only memory chips that differ from other programmable read-only memory chips because they can only be written to once. PROM chips cannot be erased with UV light or electronically.


Other types of memory chips are available, and a computer expert can guide you in choosing the memory chip best suited for the applications you have planned. Remember to consider the difference in types of memory chips including supply voltage, cycle time, power time, stand-by power and amount of memory on the chips.