Computer processors require data to perform a designated task and for this purpose, the data needed to perform the task must be saved first. This saved data is held in an digital form in a computer storage. Computer storage is a technique where computer components and media are used to preserve computer data in a digital form so that it becomes accessible to the CPU. The CPU accesses the data, manipulates it and performs computations.
Without significant amount of storage and memory, a processor will barely be able to perform operations and computations and produce output. Therefore, the market is flush with different types of storage devices. A storage device is a device designed to hold and store information and data permanently or temporarily. The absence of a storage device makes a computer a dumb terminal. Although, a computer can run without a storage device but will not be able to access information.
Modern computers have dedicated a large volume of storage to run programs, record outputs, and store data when unused. Storage is broadly classified into two categories depending on how the data is used and what type of media is placed on it. The distinctive storages are as follows:
- Primary Storage
- Secondary Storage
The primary storage comprises main memory (RAM), processor registers and caches. A CPU can access the main memory via a memory bus. The memory bus is a set of wires that allows the transfer of data from the main memory to the CPU. On the other hand, the secondary storage includes mass storage devices such as hard disks. The transfer of data from the CPU to the secondary storage and vice-versa takes place through input/ output channels. Secondary storage can be internal and external; thus, the communication between the CPU and the secondary storage is maintained through I/O channels.