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Chips which can be called read/write memory, since the data stored in them may be read or new data may be written into any memory address on these chips. The term random access means that each memory location (usually 8 bits or 1 byte) may be directly accessed (read from or written to) at random. This contrasts to devices like magnetic tape where each section of the tape must be searched sequentially by the read/write head from its current location until it finds the desired location. ROM memory is also random access memory, but they are read only not read/write memories. Another difference between RAM and ROM is that RAM is volatile, i.e. it must have a constant supply of power or the stored data will be lost.
Publication Source: FDA Glossary of Computerized System and Software Development Technology
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