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How does microchip store data?

zack123

Oct 15, 2013
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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:
 

Harald Kapp

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HOW COME A PIECE OF METAL can store various type of data
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.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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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*
 

amredwine

May 27, 2023
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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.
I made an account just to reply to this comment-- a full 10 years after you posted this, I came across it while searching google about microchips as I was curious myself. This single comment led me down an insane ADHD fueled rabbit hole that ended with me reading in depth about Minkowski spacetime isometryo_O
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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I made an account just to reply to this comment-- a full 10 years after you posted this, I came across it while searching google about microchips as I was curious myself. This single comment led me down an insane ADHD fueled rabbit hole that ended with me reading in depth about Minkowski spacetime isometryo_O
Welcome to Maker Pro.
You should have taken the blue pill. :cool: I find pseudo-Euclidean space boring.
Minkowski's space time is a special case & must have constant coefficients as in the metric of General Relativity. ;)

Sommerfeld A: Űber die Zusammensetzung der Geschwindigkeiten in der Relativtheorie,
Phys. Z. 10 1909 826-829; English transl. at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation: On_the_
Composition_of_Velocities_in_the_Theory_of_Relativity.
 
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bidrohini

Feb 1, 2023
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In case of microcontrolelr, the program is stored inside the Flash memory. Flash memory is erased and rewritten every time you program the chip. If you want to store any data permanently, you have to write it in the EEPROM.
 

hevans1944

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Jun 21, 2012
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10-year-old thread.
Lock her up!
What!? You are asking the moderators to lock up and terminate further comments on this interesting discussion thread concerning physics and space-time? Not, that I have anything to contribute, but this thread was started (ten years ago) by a "drive by" poster who joined Electronics Point (the predecessor to Maker Pro) on October 15, 2013, made the initial post to this thread, made no further posts, and was never seen here again.

BTW, the easiest and most simple answer to the OP's question is just one word: Magic. See Arthur C. Clarke's comment on magic versus technology. No need to wander off into meta-space with talk about Minkowski space or any other space. Magic says it all to the great unwashed and uneducated.

But, yeah, some if not all of these really old threads, that add absolutely nothing to the maker space, could be deleted or made "not open to further replies" if only the monitors had time to look for them while still finding time to do their real jobs... maybe there is a software solution: if a thread is more than X days old, then further replies could (and should) be rejected. I think (based on current online server storage capacity) that anything less than a thousand for X would be effective. So, 365 < X < 1000 should work.
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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I try not to mingle with the help.
It's bad for my rheumatism. It was just an observation every time someone becomes a necromancer the thread gets shut down. Don't get me started on Arthur C Clarke all his lectures were my bedtime stories my father's way of making me fall asleep but it stuck with me that's why I love science or one of the reasons. His views publicly are scripted . And guess what you can mate with a petunia! On a molecular level... Your offspring would be confined to petri dish.
 
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hevans1944

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... And guess what you can mate with a petunia! On a molecular level... Your offspring would be confined to petri dish.

I am thinking, since we can now cut and paste DNA segments, there are almost unlimited possibilities. Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be totally unpredictable. In fact, just about any change to the human genome is going to initially have unpredictable consequences. Oh, well, that's just the price we pay for progress... in any direction. It's been going on for millions of years as natural selection does its thing.
 

John Canon

Jun 1, 2022
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Here is one of the puzzles of modern electronics:
Memory is stored with 0s and 1s (zeroes and ones), yet they both hold the same amount of data. ???
I am confused. Not really.
 
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