History of Computer Memory


1 1800s

1833: Charles Babbage constructs the first punched card machine with a memory store called the Analytical Engine.

2 1930s

1932: Gusta Tauschek builds drum memory.

1936: Konrad Zuse patents a mechanical combination memory.

1939: John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry build electronic 50-bit words digital memory.

3 1940s

1941: Helmut Schreyer develops neon lamp memory.

1947: The magnetic core memory with pulse transfer control was invented by Frederick Viehe, An Wang, and Kenneth Olsen independently.

Jay Wright Forrester invents the magnetic random-access coincident-current drum.

1949: Maurice Vincent Wilkes builds the first practical stored-program computer with vacuum tube memory.

4 1950s

1951: Jay Forrester patents the matrix core memory.

5 1960s

1962: Atlas virtual memory is invented.

1965: Maurice Wilkes develops the idea of a cache computer memory.

1968: Robert Dennard invents and patents his Dynamic Random Access Memory, DRAM.

1969: Intel creates a 1 Kb RAM chip.

6 1970s

1970: MOS Dynamic RAM is invented.

1971: The erasable and programmable Read Only Memory or EPROM is launched.

1974: Intel is granted patent for a digital multichip computer memory.

7 1980s

1980: The 5 1/2" Winchester disk drive floppy is created.

1983: The Apple Motorola 68000 Lisa with 1 megabyte RAM is launched.

1984: NOR and NAND flash memory is invented by Toshiba.

1987: Fast Page Mode DRAM (FPM DRAM) 55 MHz is used.

8 1990s

1995: Extended Data Out DRAM (EDO DRAM) is used

1997: Synchronous Dynamic RAM (SDRAM) is more commonly used.


9 2000s



2002: Double Data Rate DDR SDRAM 434 MHz is used.


2004: Double Data Rate DDR SDRAM is improved again to 533 MHz.



2008: The 32 GB SDHC and 12 GB Micro SDHC is in development by Sandisk.

10 Early 2010s

2010: 3TB External Hard Drive.

2011: 128 GB USB flash drives are available.

11 Later 2010s

Consider the recent improvements to computer memory (storage and RAM). DDR3L and DDR4 memory have become commonplace. Advances in storage technology have allowed SSDs to become cheaper and smaller and tradional harddrives to reach capacities of 10 TiB.