SRAM is short for Static Random Access Memory. It refers to RAM or Random Access Memory, precisely the kind that uses a specific architecture. SRAM uses latching circuitry, also called flip-flops, to store data bits in its cells. SRAM, like DRAM, is a type of volatile memory, so stored data is lost if the power is voluntarily (or involuntarily) cut off. Unlike DRAM, it does not need to regularly be refreshed to keep its information stored.
Unlike DRAM, where cells have only two states – 0 and 1 – SRAM has three forms. Standby, reading, and writing are the states they can be in. In the case of standby or idle mode, it isn’t actively doing anything. In its reading state, an SRAM cell will provide its contents to whatever process is asking for them. Unsurprisingly, in its writing state, it will record information supplied to it in the available bit space.
Where Is It Used?
Primarily, you’ll find SRAM used in parts of PC CPUs, such as the cache and internal registers. Its high speed is the key factor in making it a good choice for this use. It’s rare to find SRAM used for the main memory of a computer (the part generally referred to just as RAM). It’s expensive and not as space efficient as DRAM would be.
SRAM’s architecture is slightly different from DRAM’s – where DRAM makes do with only two elements, SRAM has six transistors per memory cell. They take up more space, so memory cells aren’t as dense per square inch. It is challenging to make larger amounts of RAM out of SRAM cells.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Like DRAM, SRAM is also a type of volatile memory. Information is lost when power is covered, although SRAM can still retain some information – this is called data remanence. It can cause bits of data to stay behind even after being deleted (intentionally or unintentionally). However, this is a side-effect rather than an intended function. The core aspect of SRAM is its simple data access without needing a refresh circuit.
While that is an advantage, overall, SRAM cells are more expensive to make – and, as mentioned, take up more space. During read and write operations, the cells consume more power than otherwise – however that is offset by the lack of need for refresh circuits that DRAM has.
SRAM stands for Static Random Access Memory. Like other forms of RAM, SRAM is volatile, meaning it loses the data it holds when it loses power. The word static in the name indicates that SRAM doesn’t need to be regularly refreshed as DRAM does. SRAM is typically used in the CPU cache. Share your thoughts in the comments below.