Read-Write Memory

What Does Read-Write Memory Mean?

Read-write memory (RWM) is computer memory that can be read from and written to. This type of memory can be contrasted with read-only memory, which cannot be modified after it is written. Both of these contrast with another, more obscure, type of memory called write-only memory, which is very narrowly applied to hardware setups.


Having read-write memory design makes devices much more valuable to users, and adds more functionality to technologies.

Techopedia Explains Read-Write Memory

In general, the use of read-write memory represents the need for users to continually update the data that is held on hardware storage devices. Any other kind of memory other than read-write memory wouldn’t make sense for a large number of technologies because the data that will be stored on them is not supposed to be static, but depends on immediate use and user preference.

Read-write memory comes in all kinds of physical setups. From an internal or external hard disk drives to rewritable CDs or small flash drives that connect over USB, users of today’s modern computer systems can house readable and writable data in many different kinds of data storage destinations. In addition to physical data storage devices, new technologies like network virtualization and cloud hosting have given users even more options for storing and retrieving data that can be changed or amended as needed.


Related Terms

Latest Software Development Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…