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How does microchip store data?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by zack123, Oct 15, 2013.

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  1. zack123

    zack123

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    Oct 15, 2013
    hi, i'm a totally newbie...i just want to ask since it has been in my head for ages, HOW DOES A MICROCHIP STORE DATA?....now i know that the transistors store it in form of binarys and all but what really bothers my mind is how a single piece of solid material can store data (electrical, visual, image etc) inside it?

    For example, if its a traditional style voice recorder or casette i can understand very well that the strip is 'stamped' and it's kept that way....but how does a small metal that have been programmed with electricity can store data inside it and able to decode such as the laptop i'm using right now.

    I read about the explanations given in forums all over but still just a simple and basic question HOW COME A PIECE OF METAL can store various type of data?huhu.thanx:confused:
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Simple answer: It doesn't.

    A semiconductor memory (RAM, ROM, FLASH etc.) is anything but a piece of metal. It is a complex structure of interacting consuctors, semiconductors and isolators. To understand how it works you need to understand how semiconductors work.

    Here is an overview. Read this and use the information pointed to by the links in the article.
     
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    You need to google for "semiconductor memory", but there are several methods:

    1) You have a circuit that can be in one of two possible states and which will remember an report what state it is in infinitely until it is changed.

    2) You have a capacitor which holds a charge or does not. This may be periodically refreshed to allow indefinite storage, or it may not be and thus be forgotten after some time (seconds, to decades).

    3) The state is held either magnetically or in some other changed property of material that may be able to be replaced later.

    In general, all of these methods result in the ability to store some number of on/off values (otherwise known as bits).

    These bits have no inherent meaning, but we can interpret patterns of several to many bits as a number, a date, a picture, or a program, or anything else we choose to encode.

    edit: *SNAP*
     
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