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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 0011:  System Memory

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Synchronous Dynamic RAM (SDRAM)
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III  Moving the Data: the Memory Bus

Up to this point we have described some of the basic types of memory you will find in a modern PC. We will now discuss how the data moves to and from the RAM to the CPU and other components of the PC. This data flow takes place on the memory bus of the motherboard and is made up of three key components:

  • Memory Controller

  • Data Bus

  • Address Bus

  • Memory Controller

The first key component in the memory bus is the memory controller. This is a hardware logic circuit that is typically integrated into the chipset of the motherboard (Chipsets are discussed in Chapter 0010). The memory controller is in charge of generating the necessary signals for reading and writing data to and from RAM. The memory controller also interfaces the memory with the various other devices in the system, such as the hard drive and video controller.

With the memory controller controlling the signals for accessing the RAM, the actual data is moved to and from the RAM on a series of wires known as the memory bus. The memory bus is comprised of two separate components, the data bus and the address bus.

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