Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Diff between binary digits and memory.

  1. Oct 28, 2012 #1
    i'm doing a project on electronics while knowing nothing at all about it.

    after reading up i do have some basic info, but i think i also have quite a bit of misconception.

    based on internet research ,i know that RAM is created by semiconductors ( please correct me if i'm wrong) and binary digits are read as only zero or one..binary digits are created due to a difference in states right? and memory is created due to difference in states too right? so do binary digits actually make up memory? i know this may be a stupid qns;(
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2012 #2
    Think of it as the difference between pigeonholes and the letters in them.

    The binary digits (or information) are like the letters.
    They change as the information changes, just as we take the letters out (to read them) and put new ones in their place.

    Memory is like the pigeonholes which are fixed and do not change.
    They are the physical place to hold the information - binary digits or letters -
    Just as with pigeon holes - letters for me will be filed under S - memory has addresses to identify each location.

    Does this help?
     
  4. Oct 28, 2012 #3
    Yes that is correct. 0101011010101. All data and instructions inside a computer are in this form.
     
  5. Oct 28, 2012 #4

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    This explains how RAM works..
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/ram.htm
     
  6. Oct 29, 2012 #5
    CWatters, thanks for the link it's really helpful but the info is too hard for me to understand ...;(

    Memory is made up of bits arranged in a two-dimensional grid. are bits matter?( i know this sounds stupid but i'm reallly confused.)
     
  7. Oct 29, 2012 #6
    for dynamic memory to work, either the CPU or the memory controller has to come along and recharge all of the capacitors holding a 1 before they discharge. To do this, the mem*ory controller reads the memory and then writes it right back.(how?!!)


    DRAM works by sending a charge through the appropriate column (CAS) to activate the transistor at each bit in the column. (i don't understand this sentence)

    When writing, the row lines contain the state the capacitor should take on. When reading, the sense-amplifier determines the level of charge in the capacitor. If it is more than 50 percent, it reads it as a 1; otherwise it reads it as a 0. ( so the sense amplifier is the memory controller?)
     
  8. Oct 29, 2012 #7

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think this is a philosophical point.
    Binary digits just describe the State of each piece of logic circuit. The state of each element corresponds to the digital information (the software) and the element is the hardware. This is just the same as saying that a written number (7, say) corresponds to a quantity of seven things - or, perhaps just the number seven (software). The shape on the paper, formed with a pencil or pen is just the (hardware) way that the number has been stored.

    The value 'seven' may be represented in many different ways but corresponds to the same thing in each case. (Assuming the person got the arithmetic right!)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook