SDRAM, abbreviated as Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, is a DRAM semiconductor memory that can operate faster than conventional DRAM. It is popularly utilized as the random-access memory in a computer. SDRAM is synchronized with the clock speed for which the microprocessor is optimized. The speed of SDRAM is measured in MHz and not in nanoseconds (ns). This makes it less complicated to calculate the bus speed and the RAM chip speed. The RAM clock speed can be converted into nanoseconds by dividing the chip's speed by 1. For example, an 83 MHz RAM would be equal to 12 ns.
SDRAM has been widely utilized in computers and related technology; after the introduction of SDRAM, several generations of double data rate RAM were developed like DDR, also known as DDR1. DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5….
SDRAM became so popular after its introduction in 1996 that it has exceeded the use of DRAM in computers as the main form of dynamic RAM used across the computing spectrum, particularly for random access memory.
Development of SDRAM
The initial ideas of SDRAM were introduced in the 1970s and have been in existence for many years. One of the first commercial SDRAM introduced was KM48SL2000 by Samsung in 1993. This did not immediately become popular. However, it was relatively quick to establish once the idea was established.
As the speed of SDRAM was improved, in 2000, SDRAM had virtually replaced the standard DRAM technology in most computer applications. To ensure that SDRAM technology is interchangeable, the industry body for semiconductor standards, JEDEC, utilized its first SDRAM standard in 1993. This created an open standard for SDRAM. It also made it easier for the developers to use the product from more than one manufacturer and still have a second source option.
When the basic SDRAM was established, further developments took place. JEDEC established a type of SDRAM known as DDR or double date rat according to their developed standard 79C, which was updated later on into two more versions.
After DDR SDRAM, another option known as DDR2 SDRAM was developed in 2003 when two clock rates were available. It was considered that the version of DDR2 SDRAM was inferior to the previous version of DDR SDRAM. However, as its speed increased, the performance exceeded that of DDR SDRAM. Later on, the next version, DDR3 SDRAM, was released. Its prototype was announced in 2005. However, it was 2007 when it initially started being used by the computer motherboard.
Advantages and Disadvantages
It is crucial to know about the advantages and disadvantages of any technology before you decide to use it in any electronic circuit design or project. SDRAM has been popular in the market for several computer memory applications and particularly for RAM. The advantages of SDRAM are as follows:
- Simple design
- Low cost
- The complex manufacturing process required
- DDR versions of SDRAM double the data rate of basic SDRAM by utilizing both edges of the clock cycle
Besides the advantages, SDRAM has its disadvantages in certain applications as well:
- High consumption of power
- This memory is volatile and loses its memory once the power is removed.
- Data needs refreshing
- It is slower than the SRAM.
When choosing any memory, whether random access memory or any other functions, it is crucial to consider both advantages and disadvantages.