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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

DRAM? SDRAM ?

Memory FAQ Topics
DRAM? SDRAM ?
Q. What's the difference between 2K and 4K SDRAM?
A. In Short : not much, don't worry about it.

Well the truth is :
The SDRAM has multiple internal banks. The 16M SDRAM has 2 banks, the 64M has 4 banks. When you tell the SDRAM a ROW or COLUMN address you must also specify which BANK you are referring to. The way to do this is by the 'bank address' (BA). Herein lies the problem. For some unknown reasons, suppliers have lumped together the ROW address pins with the BANK address pins and simply refer to them as 'address' pins. For the 2Mx8 SDRAM some suppliers claim to have 11 ROW address plus 1 BA, other just say 12 addresses. That's just addressing, for refresh requires you also specify the refresh interval (tREF). For a distributed refresh scheme you simply divide tREF by the number of refresh cycles to get the auto-refresh interval. In both cases for the SDRAM it works out like:

Address bits Refresh Cycles tREF Auto-refresh interval
11 row 2^11 = 2048 = 2K 32ms 32ms / 2048 = 15.6 us
12 2^12 = 4096 = 4K 64ms 64ms / 4096 = 15.6 us

The upshot is that for distributed refresh schemes these two devices are identical in both addressing and refresh. (For a burst refresh scheme, the 32ms tREF is a subset of the 64ms.)

For the general PC application the 2K device works fine. The 4K device offers no advantage. Note that this is not the case for asynchronous DRAM where there truly is a difference in addressing between 2K and 4K.
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