Computer storage technology
Mata-Toledo, Ramon A. Department of Computer Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Gupta, Pranshu Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, DeSales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
Show previous versions
- Computer storage technology, published 2016:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Computer storage technology, published 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Characteristics of storage
- Memory hierarchy
- Primary storage
- Secondary storage
- Tertiary storage
- Offline storage
- Enterprise-level storage
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The hardware components, both internal and external, of a computer used to read (retrieve) or write (save) digital data. The ability to read and write data is an essential function of a computer and of the so-called von Neumann architecture (stored-program computer) on which most computers are based. In computers, the central processing unit (CPU or the processor) is the electronic component that carries out the instructions of a program. The CPU performs the arithmetic, logical, control, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by a program stored in main memory. The data itself can be stored in main memory or in some external device. Modern computers may have a large amount of main memory, sometimes on the order of terabytes (1012 bytes). A byte (eight bits or binary digits) is the basic memory unit of the computer. A bit can only hold a single value of 0 or 1. However, there are still applications for which even that amount of memory is not enough. In early computer systems, memory technology was very limited in speed and size and was very expensive; for example, around 1978, 512 kilobytes cost about U.S. $100,000. A kilobyte is equivalent to 1024 bytes. The word kilo, which generally means 1000, is used here as 1024, because bytes and all multiples are powers of 2 (210 = 1024). Since the mid-1980s, the advent of high-density, high-speed, random-access memory (RAM) chips has reduced the cost of memory by more than two orders of magnitude. Memory chips now are no larger than 6 mm2 and contain all the essential hardware to store thousands of bits of data or instructions (Fig. 1). See also: Bit; Computer; Computer architecture; Computer programming; Digital computer; Numerical representation (computers)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information