Difference between Sequential and Random Access Memory

Sequential Access Memory:

In Sequential Access Memory, the data must be accessed in a predetermined order via read-write circuitry that is shared by different storage locations. It typically stores the information in a fixed set of tracks. Each track consists of a sequence of 1-bit storage cells.

A track has one or more access points at which a read-write head can read/write information to or from the track. A stored item is then accessed serially by moving either the stored information or the read-write heads or both.

Random Access Memory:

If the storage locations can be accessed in any order and access time is independent of the location being accessed. This access method is known as random access. The memory that provides such access is known as Random Access Memory (RAM).

Sequential Access Memory vs Random Access Memory:

Sequential Access MemoryRandom Access Memory
1. It uses sequential access method1. It uses random access method
2. Memory access time is dependent on the position of storage location2. Memory access time is independent of storage location being accessed
3. Memory is organized into units of data, called records. Records are accessed sequentially.3. Each storage location in the memory has an unique address and it can be accessed independently of the other locations.
4. Memory access time is more.4. Memory access time is less.
5. It's a non-volatile memory.5. It's a volatile memory.
6. It is cheaper than random access
6. It is expensive than Sequential Access
7. Example: Magnetic tape7. Example: Semi-conductor memories