Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What is ECC memory

ECC or Error Correction Codes and is a method utilized to correct and detect errors initiated during transmission or storage of data. Certain types of RAM or Random Access Memory chips within a computer apply this strategy to right data errors and are identified as ECC Memory.

Error Correction Codes Memory chips are mainly utilized in servers rather than in client PCs. Errors of the memory are fractional to the RAM amount in a computer and the operation duration. Since servers usually has several RAM Gigabytes and are operating 24 hours daily, the probability of errors popping up in their chips is moderately high and therefore they need ECC Memory.

Memory errors have 2 types, namely soft and hard. Hard ones are caused of fabrication deficiencies in the memory chip and can’t be checked once they begin appearing. Soft ones alternatively are caused mainly by electrical troubles.

Memory errors that aren’t checked immediately could crash a PC. This again has relevance to a server than a client PC in a home or office environment. When a server crashes, it doesn’t affect other PCs even when it is linked to a network, but when a client crashes it puts the whole network down w/ it. Hence Error Correction Codes memory is required for servers but non-compulsory for clients if they’re used for critical applications.

Error Correction Codes Memory chips mostly utilize Triple Modular Redundancy or Hamming Code as the method of error correction and detection. These are commonly known as Forward Error Correction codes that handle error correction on their own rather than going back and asking for the data source to send back the data. These correction codes could correct every errors experiencing in data. Multi bit errors are so rare and therefore don’t create much of a danger to memory systems.

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