RE: I need a user-friendly term

Subject: RE: I need a user-friendly term
From: "Walden Miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 00:48:44 -0600

Let's not get hasty about renaming very specific terms:)

Flash memory is a type of EEPROM that can be block programmed (i.e., written
to or erased). Digital set-tops use it, Digital Cameras use it, etc. Flash
is Non-Volatile because you turn off the power and the memory contents

Not all Non-Volatile Memory is Flash. Some NVRAM (most EEPROMS) can only be
programmed one byte at a time.

SSD's include EEPROMS but also a host of other pieces, such as their own
CPU, battery, memory bus, etc.

Back to the original question: It there a generic term to describe the wide
varieties of NVRAM (SSD, EEPROM's, Flash). I would say NVRAM generically. I
don't know of anything else.

If your audience consists of engineers, then use terms like NVRAM, DRAM,
Flash, SRAM, EEPROM, and SSD (that's user friendly to engineers). If your
audience is the general public, they probably only care that the programming
on their VCR/CableBox/PC doesn't go away when you unplug the cord. You
don't even need to use technical terms, just describe the functionality.

My .02

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-29002 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-29002 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Dave Neufeld
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 5:55 PM
Subject: RE: I need a user-friendly term

What are your issues with the term "non-volatile memory"?

What kind of RAM are you writing to? is it flash memory (ie, it retains its
contents when power is removed)? A "solid state disk" sounds like flash
memory, but I'm not familiar enough with the term.

IMO, flash memory is a specific type of RAM that has an attribute of being
non-volatile, such as any of the memory devices used in removable digital
camera memory (including CompactFlash, SD, memory stick, and so on...)

hmmm. I would generally use volatile and non-volatile in terms of software
accessible variables. A PROM, or memory structure only accessed by the
application, could be considered as non-volatile. However, a register
reflecting an external state that could change outside of the software
applications direct control (ie, I/O input, thermal sensor, etc.) would be
volatile from a software application's point of view.


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