Computer Storage Devices and Types25 August 2023
Data storage means keeping digital information safe on things like special chips, CDs, DVDs, or other devices. This is done using various ways and tools. We use storage in places like offices, big data centers, faraway spots, and even at home. It’s also really important for gadgets like phones and tablets. Now, there are different types of data storage available. So, in this article we will discuss all about computer storage devices and types.
What is Computer Storage devices?
Computer storage devices are like the computer’s memory helpers. They store, move, and get data files, which are like the computer’s thoughts and pictures. These devices are super important because they let the computer do its tasks. They help it run programs, keep important stuff saved, and find data quickly.
There are different kinds of storage devices, like special boxes for different jobs. Some boxes can hold a lot of stuff, like a big closet, while others work really fast, like a speedy delivery person. These devices are what make a computer work well.
Imagine your computer is like a busy worker. These storage devices are its tools – they help the worker get things done. When you open a program or a file, the worker uses these tools to find what you need. Just like you have different drawers for your clothes and toys, computers have different storage devices for different tasks.
In a way, these devices are like the computer’s helpers, making sure everything is organized and ready to use. So, when you play a game or do your homework on the computer, remember that these special helpers are working behind the scenes to make it all happen smoothly.
Types of Computer Storage devices
Now let’s talk about the different kinds of storage devices you can find. Each of these devices has its own special features and purposes. Some of the storage devices that people often use are :
- Primary Storage Devices
- Magnetic Storage Devices
- Optical Storage Devices
- Flash memory Devices
- Cloud and Virtual Storage
Primary Storage Devices
A primary storage device is like a computer’s quick memory. It holds data that the computer is using right now, such as when you’re using apps or working on something. This memory helps the computer work fast and get things done quickly. But remember, this memory is temporary and goes away when you turn off the computer. The most common type of primary storage is called RAM. It’s like the computer’s short-term memory. Primary storage is super important for the computer to work well and do things quickly as you use it.
RAM Stands for Random Access Memory. It is like a computer’s fast, short-term memory. It holds data that the computer needs right now, but only while it’s turned on. RAM helps the computer do things quickly, like opening apps, browsing the web, or playing games. It allows the computer to switch between tasks easily and remember where it left off. RAM comes in different sizes, from 1GB to 32GB or more.There are different types of RAM, and although they all serve the same purpose, the most common ones are :
- SRAM : It stands for Static Random Access Memory. It consists of circuits that retain stored information as long as the power supply is on. It is also known as volatile memory. It is used to build Cache memory. The access time of SRAM is lower and it is much faster as compared to DRAM but in terms of cost, it is costly as compared to DRAM.
- DRAM : It stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is used to store binary bits in the form of electrical charges that are applied to capacitors. The access time of DRAM is slower as compared to SRAM but it is cheaper than SRAM and has a high packaging density.
- SDRAM: It stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is faster than DRAM. It is widely used in computers and others. After SDRAM was introduced, the upgraded version of double data rate RAM, i.e., DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 was entered into the market and widely used in home/office desktops and laptops.
It stands for Read-Only Memory. The data written or stored in these devices are non-volatile, i.e, once the data is stored in the memory cannot be modified or deleted. The memory from which will only read but cannot write it. This type of memory is non-volatile. The information is stored permanently during manufacture only once. ROM stores instructions that are used to start a computer. This operation is referred to as bootstrap. It is also used in other electronic items like washers and microwaves. ROM chips can only store a few megabytes (MB) of data, which ranges between 4 and 8 MB per ROM chip.
- PROM: PROM is Programmable Read-Only Memory. These are ROMs that can be programmed. A special PROM programmer is employed to enter the program on the PROM. Once the chip has been programmed, information on the PROM can’t be altered. PROM is non-volatile, that is data is not lost when power is switched off.
- EPROM: Another sort of memory is the Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. It is possible to erase the info which has been previously stored on an EPROM and write new data onto the chip.
- EEPROM: It is Electrically erasable programmable read-only memory. Here, data can be erased without using ultraviolet light, with the use of just applying the electric field.
Magnetic Storage Devices
A magnetic disk is like a special storage tool. It uses magnets to put information on it, change that information, and read it. The disk has a special covering that’s magnetic, and it stores information in lines, spots, and sections. Examples of these disks are hard drives, zip disks, and floppy disks.
- Floppy Disk: A floppy disk, sometimes called a floppy diskette, is like a tiny storage friend for computers. It’s made of a plastic case to keep it safe and holds information. But now, people don’t use floppy disks much because newer and better things like USB drives are around.
- Hard Disk: A hard disk, or HDD, is like a big storage hub for computers. It uses magnets to hold and get back data. Computers have them inside like stacked records. Data is saved in circles on the disks, and a special part reads it. Hard disks are good for keeping lots of stuff, but they aren’t super fast. They come in different sizes from small to really big.
- Magnetic Card: Imagine a card that works like a secret code! A magnetic card stores info using tiny bits that have magnets. This card can be used for different things, like swiping to enter places, paying with credit cards, or showing your ID.
- Tape Cassette: You know music, right? Well, a tape cassette is like a music holder. It has a special tape inside that keeps music using magnets. People used these to listen to music before, but now we have digital music.
- SuperDisk: A SuperDisk, also called LS-240 or LS-120, is a special kind of storage. It’s like a powerful friend for computers and can hold a lot of stuff, like 240 megabytes of data. It’s not as popular as before, but some computers really liked having it around.
Flash Memory Devices
Flash memory is like a special type of memory that can remember things even when it’s turned off. It can store and change data in small parts. People use it in lots of things like phones, cameras, and computers. It’s also used in big computer systems.
- Pen Drive: A pen drive, also called a USB flash drive, is like a small gadget that stores data. You can plug it directly into a computer to quickly save or take out information. It’s easy to carry around and comes in different sizes, from a little bit to a lot of storage.
- SSD: An SSD is a special kind of storage like a hard drive, but better. It’s tough because it doesn’t have moving parts, and it uses less power. It’s super speedy, about 10 times faster than a regular hard drive. SSDs are used in computers and weigh less. They’re more expensive, though, but they’re worth it.
- SD Card: An SD card, short for Secure Digital Card, is like a mini storage card used in gadgets like phones and cameras. It’s small and portable, coming in different sizes to hold different amounts of data, like a tiny or big backpack for your info.
- Memory Card: A memory card is like a special tool for devices like cameras and game consoles. It’s used to store lots of data and comes in different sizes. To use it on a computer, you might need a special reader.
- Multimedia Card: A multimedia card, or MMC, is like a tiny computer part. It’s used in things like car radios and cameras to keep data safe. It’s like a secret storage helper.
Optical Storage Device
Optical Storage Devices are like special containers for keeping extra stuff on computers. They’re like extra backpacks for your data. Here are some of them:
- CD: A Compact Disc, or CD, is a round plastic thing that can hold data. It’s like a flat music disc, but it can store computer stuff. There are two types:
- CD-R: This is a CD where you can only put data on it once, like writing on a sign. Once it’s there, you can’t change it.
- CD-RW: This CD is like a whiteboard. You can write things and erase them again and again.
- DVD: A Digital Versatile Disc, or DVD, is another round flat thing that holds even more data than a CD. There are two sizes: one can hold 4.7GB and the bigger one can hold 8.5GB. Just like CDs, there are two types:
- DVD-R: You can only write on this DVD once. It’s good for things like movies.
- DVD-RW: This DVD lets you write and erase many times, like drawing on a magic board.
- Blu-ray Disc: A Blu-ray Disc is like a CD or DVD, but it can hold even more – up to 25GB! You need a special reader for it because it uses a different kind of light to read the data. It’s like having a super backpack for your computer stuff.
Cloud and Virtual Storage
These days, a different kind of storage has become popular called virtual or cloud storage. It’s like renting a space on the internet to keep your things. You can put your files there, and they’ll stay as long as you keep paying. Big companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft offer these spaces. You just pay for how much room you need. Even though the stuff is saved in a real place, you don’t need to take care of it. It’s like someone else looks after it. For instance, Amazon has something called AWS S3, where you can put your stuff on the internet instead of a physical device. These new ideas show where storage is heading.
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Hey there, I’m Anshul Pal, a tech blogger and Computer Science graduate. I’m passionate about exploring tech-related topics and sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired. With two years of industry expertise in blogging and content writing, I’m also the co-founder of HVM Smart Solution. Thanks for reading my blog – Happy Learning!