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Difference Between SRAM and DRAM

ddr_ramSRAM vs DRAM

There are two types of Random Access Memory or RAM, each has its own advantages and disadvantages compared to the other. SRAM (Static RAM) and DRAM (Dynamic RAM) holds data but in a different ways. DRAM requires the data to be refreshed periodically in order to retain the data. SRAM does not need to be refreshed as the transistors inside would continue to hold the data as long as the power supply is not cut off. This behavior leads to a few advantages, not the least of which is the much faster speed that data can be written and read.

The additional circuitry and timing needed to introduce the refresh creates some complications that makes DRAM memory slower and less desirable than SRAM. One complication is the much higher power used by DRAM memory, this difference is very significant in battery powered devices. SRAM modules are also much simpler compared to DRAM, which makes it easier for most people to create an interface to access the memory. This makes it easier to work with for hobbyists and even for prototyping.

Structurally, SRAM needs a lot more transistors in order to store a certain amount of memory. A DRAM module only needs a transistor and a capacitor for every bit of data where SRAM needs 6 transistors. Because the number of transistors in a memory module determine its capacity, a DRAM module can have almost 6 times more capacity with a similar transistor count to an SRAM module. This ultimately boils down to price, which is what most buyers are really concerned with.

Because of its lower price, DRAM has become the mainstream in computer main memory despite being slower and more power hungry compared to SRAM. SRAM memory is still used in a lot of devices where speed is more crucial than capacity. The most prominent use of SRAM is in the cache memory of processors where speed is very essential, and the low power consumption translates to less heat that needs to be dissipated. Even hard drives, optical drives, and other devices that needs cache memory or buffers use SRAM modules.

Summary:
1. SRAM is static while DRAM is dynamic
2. SRAM is faster compared to DRAM
3. SRAM consumes less power than DRAM
4. SRAM uses more transistors per bit of memory compared to DRAM
5. SRAM is more expensive than DRAM
6. Cheaper DRAM is used in main memory while SRAM is commonly used in cache memory


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19 Comments

  1. thank you very much…..
    content is unique…..

  2. It would have been so much better if the author included basic metrics for comparison purpose. For example what is the cost per GB of SRAM and DRAM. And most importantly, exactly how much faster is SRAM over DRAM. I think that the majorrity of the people who endup on this page come here to find out the performance difference. If anyone knows that then please add the info to this article

  3. the point about the power consumption is wrong if one considers power consumption per die,its the other way

  4. tanks
    great summary

  5. Thanks, Helped me a lot.

  6. thanks 4 everything we give the knowledge 4 this website thanks very much..

  7. I like the Summary :)

    thankzzz….

  8. thnks a lot it helpd

  9. Thanks alot for all summary and explanation because i get a more knowledge.

  10. The point “SRAM consumes less power than DRAM” is wrong

  11. What are the Characteristics of memory systems?

  12. I think the “power consumption” comparison needs to be reviewed. Very nice article though.

  13. thanks, for knowledege.

  14. very usefull article

  15. According to jp hayes Wcb/mcgraw hill publication. Sram ic’s consumer more power than dram
    check it out

  16. SRAM will retain information as long as the power supply is not cut off, what about DRAM? Does DRAM have the capability to save information due to the refreshment process it goes through?

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