In memory technology, volatile stands for volatile. A volatile memory is a volatile memory that, unlike a non-volatile memory, loses the data once it has been stored unless it is supported by additional preservation techniques.
Volatile memory includes all random access memories( RAM), which make their data available for program processing only for a short time. In addition to classic random access memory (RAM), this group includes dynamic random access memory( DRAM), static random access memory( SRAM) and the various variants of RAMs and DRAMs such as SDRAM, XDR-DRAM, DRDRAM and EDO-DRAM. All RAM types are volatile memories and lose their memory contents immediately after the supply voltage is switched off.
In volatile memories, the data contents remain only when the memories are continuously supplied with operating voltage. The word volatile is used in memory technology to denote memory devices that store their data as long as they are supplied with a supply voltage. If this is switched off, the data is lost. To ensure that the data is retained, there are conservation techniques. These include supplying non-volatile memory with a buffer battery, also called a memo buffer. This is a small rechargeable battery for powering volatile memory. Alternatively, supercapacitors can also be used.
Volatile memories exist not only as semiconductor memories, but also in magnetic memories and in electronic memory cells or bit cells. While magnetic memories are based on magnetic fields that must be constantly maintained, electronic memory cells use capacitors as storage elements with which they can store one or two bits ofinformation.
In addition to volatile memories, there are also non-volatile memories, which retain their data even when they are not powered. Examples of non-volatile memories are read only memories( ROM), flash memories, magnetic memories, hard disks, solid-state drives, etc.