Brief History of Memory
Computers have come along way in the past 5 years. We have seen the transition of CPU to new architecture, we have seen big companies fall and rival companies rise to the challenge, the one thing in computing that hasn't changed a lot if computer memory. Computer memory has only seen 6 unique changes while CPU's have had over 10 unique changes in the last 5 years.
The first interchangeable memory technology for computers was the introduction of the Single Inline Memory Module (SIMM). The first SIMMs were small with a total pin count of 30, these SIMMs came in sizes of 256kbyte up to 4MB were 32bit wide memory bus. Since a standard memory bus is 64bit the SIMMs had to be installed in pairs. I.e. if you wanted to install 4MB of RAM you had to use 2x2MB modules and not 1x4MB modules. With newer 486 and Pentium based motherboards came need for more memory and the SIMM system got an upgrade, the SIMMs grew in size to 72pin and were available in 4MB all the way up to 32MB, this new upgrade was called Fast Page Mode (FPM), still using the 32bit path these SIMMs needed to be installed in pairs. Again PC's grew and so did memory technology. With computers needing faster RAM SIMM's got another upgrade and were given faster chips, which were called Extended Data Output (EDO). Still using the same SIMM memory technology but allowed the production of the 64MB SIMM modules.
In 1997, computer giant Intel decided in order to make more money, they had to start to change standards. Intel started to work with many major memory manufactures and designed the new memory technology called Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM). This new memory standard changed many of the little problems created by SIMM memory such as having to install the memory in pairs, the bottleneck with speeds and sizes. SDRAM or Double Inline Memory Modules (DIMM) were the first 64bit memory bus which meant that you could buy 1x32MB stick of memory and install that into your system and not have to get 2x16MB memory sticks, this proved to be a very good tactic for the computer world.
In 1998, Intel once again tried to force computer users over to a new memory technology called RAMBUS Dynamic Random Access Memory (RDRAM). This new memory technology when compared to SDRAM was found to have no benefits over the currant technology and even lagged behind the SDRAM modules. Intel shortly abandoned this new memory technology despite their claims that this new memory was superior to SDRAM when Intel's own tests showed that SDRAM was faster than RDRAM. In 2000, VIA and many memory manufacturers joined forces to bring the next step is memory technology called Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM). Today however, we have a 4 stick PC150 SDRAM round up for you.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm CDT
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