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5.3. MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES FOR VIDEO OR GRAPHICS PROCESSING
VIDEO RAM (VRAM)VRAM is a video version of FPM technology. VRAM typically has two ports instead of one, which allows the memory to allocate one channel to refreshing the screen while the other is focused on changing the images on the screen. This works much more efficiently than regular DRAM when it comes to video applications. However, since video memory chips are used in much lower quantities than main memory chips, they tend to be more expensive. So, a system designer may choose to use regular DRAM in a video subsystem, depending on whether cost or performance is the design objective.
WINDOW RAM (WRAM)WRAM is another type of dual-ported memory also used in graphics-intensive systems. It differs slightly from VRAM in that its dedicated display port is smaller and it supports EDO features.
SYNCHRONOUS GRAPHICS RAM (SGRAM)SGRAM is a video-specific extension of SDRAM that includes graphics-specific read/write features. SGRAM also allows data to be retrieved and modified in blocks, instead of individually. This reduces the number of reads and writes that memory must perform and increases the performance of the graphics controller by making the process more efficient.
BASE RAMBUS AND CONCURRENT RAMBUSBefore it even became a contender for main memory, Rambus technology was actually used in video memory. The current Rambus main memory technology is called Direct Rambus. Two earlier forms of Rambus are Base Rambus and Concurrent Rambus. These forms of Rambus have been used in specialty video applications in some workstations and video game systems like Nintendo 64 for several years.