Memory Module Types

Advance Technical Repair of Laptops Motherboard

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RAM is built from silicon wafers, just as CPUs and other computer chips are. The silicon wafers, however, are quite delicate. In order to safely handle and transport RAM, it's necessary to embed the silicon wafers inside a plastic or ceramic package. This package is what we typically think of as a computer chip (see Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1

A typical memory chip uses a number of metallic pins to interface the silicon wafer within the package to a motherboard or other device.

Figure 3.1

A typical memory chip uses a number of metallic pins to interface the silicon wafer within the package to a motherboard or other device.

Early x86 PCs generally included RAM chips soldered directly onto the motherboard, or placed in individual sockets. This approach consumed a great deal of space on the motherboard, however, and made it difficult to upgrade memory or replace defective memory.

Part I

Therefore, various forms of memory modules were developed to hold the memory chips. These memory modules could be easily attached to the motherboard. The most popular memory module types through much of x86 history have been single inline memory modules (SIMMs) and dual inline memory modules (DIMMs). An example of each is shown in Figure 3.2. In late 1999, a new type of memory module began to appear: the Rambus inline memory module (RIMM). RIMMs are used by a new type of RAM, Rambus dynamic RAM (RDRAM), described later in this chapter.

Figure 3.2

The 30-pin SIMM (top) is largely obsolete today, but 168-pin DIMMs (bottom) are still used in many computers in 2000.

Figure 3.2

The 30-pin SIMM (top) is largely obsolete today, but 168-pin DIMMs (bottom) are still used in many computers in 2000.

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