Write-Only Memory

What Does Write-Only Memory Mean?

Write-only memory describes memory locations that cannot be read, but can only be written to. In some senses, this term is a logical fallacy in IT, but it does have some relevance to certain systems involved in the interaction between microprocessors and some kinds of hardware.


Techopedia Explains Write-Only Memory

In the most basic sense, write-only memory is the opposite of read-only memory, or memory that cannot be modified after writing. Logically, read-only memory make sense. Although a user or device can’t modify that memory, it can still provide helpful input, because it can be read. The idea of write-only memory, or memory that can’t be read, seems useless. However, experts point out that in some cases, methodologies for creating CPU interactions with hardware can lead to memory locations that could be called write-only memory from the viewpoint of the processor itself. So, while the processor can’t read the memory that it has written, other parts of the hardware setup may be able to do so.


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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…