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Main memory is one of the three main components of a computer system. In this lecture, we discuss the design and implementation of the memory component. The memory can be defined as primary (main) or secondary memory. Microprocessors can access the information in primary memory directly. Microprocessors can access the information in the secondary memory only through the main memory. Examples of the secondary memory are hard disks, floppy disks, and CD ROM. In this lecture, we study only main memory.
Generic memory design concepts are discussed first. Specialized memory circuits such as DRAM and cache are briefly introduced later. A systematic procedure for designing main memory components is described. This design process is applicable to most microprocessors.