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"Random access memory (RAM) is a form
of computer data storage. A random access device allows stored data
to be accessed in very nearly the same amount of time for any
storage location, so data can be accessed quickly in any random
order. In contrast, other data storage media such as hard disks, CDs,
DVDs and magnetic tape read and write data only in a predetermined
order, consecutively, because of mechanical design limitations.
Therefore the time to access a given data location varies
significantly depending on its physical location.
Today, random-access memory takes the form
of integrated circuits. Strictly speaking, modern types of DRAM are
not random access, as data is read in bursts, although the name DRAM
/ RAM has stuck. However, many types of SRAM, ROM, OTP, and NOR
flash are still random access even in a strict sense. RAM is often
associated with volatile types of memory (such as DRAM memory
modules), where its stored information is lost if the power is
removed. Many other types of non-volatile memory are RAM as well,
including most types of ROM and a type of flash memory called
NOR-Flash. The first RAM modules to come into the market were
created in 1951 and were sold until the late 1960s and early 1970s."