Difference between Byte Addressable Memory and Word Addressable Memory

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As we know that memory is the one of most vital part of computer and it becomes very important to understand that how it works and how it stores the data that we provide to it.So in general we know that computer memory stores the data that we provide after converting into bits or bytes (which is nothing but collection of bits) so in this topic we are going to explain that how this storage take place and how to address those storage blocks.

As mentioned above that each data or in simple language every word that we provide to computer it stores it in its memory whether in temporary cache or permanent memory. But before storing it to memory there is conversion of word in bits. Now the collection of these bits is going to be stores in the memory. Memory of computer is divided into chunks or we can say sections which basically hold the converted bits.

Now let us take an example that your computer memory configuration is stated as 4096 * 32 bit which means that it has 4096 locations or sections that each can hold a word of size 32 bit. And let us suppose the address of first section among 4096 sections is 'i' then address of its subsequent section would be 'i+1' and of next is 'i+3' and so on. So this type of addressing in which we treat each section of memory which is that storage of 32 bits or 4 bytes is known as Word Addressable Memory.

While continuing the same example as we know that we have total 4096 sections and each section storing a word of length 32 bits or simply 4 bytes. Now as we discuss above that we can access each section by adding one consecutive number to its current location i.e 'i' then next location is 'i+1' then 'i+2' and so on. Now if memory section which storing word is further treated as sub sections of 4 i.e as each section which storing word of 4 byte is divided in 4 subsection and each subsection storing 1 byte and let us suppose that each subsection has address now each subsection has address like 'j' next would be 'j+1' then 'j+3' and so on. So if we take address of one section as 'j' then address of next section would be 'j+4' then for next would be 'j+8' and so on. So this type of addressing in which the number of subsections i.e number of bytes stored in section is added to get address of next section is known as Byte Addressable Memory.

So if we take 'i' address in Word Addressable memory and 'j' in Byte Addressable memory address then 'i' = 'j' ; 'i=1' = 'j+4' ; 'i=3' = 'j+8' and so on.

Updated on 24-Feb-2020 12:21:13