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2.19 What are "single-sided" and "double-sided" 72-pin SIMMs?




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This item is from the PC Hardware FAQ, by Willie Lim and Ralph Valentino with numerous contributions by others. (v1.25).

2.19 What are "single-sided" and "double-sided" 72-pin SIMMs?

[From: rbean@execpc.com (Ron Bean)] All 72-pin SIMMs are 32 bits wide (36 with parity), but double-sided SIMMs have four RAS (Row Address Strobe) lines instead of two. This can be thought of as two single-sided SIMMs wired in parallel. But since there is only one set of data lines, you can only access one "side" at a time. Usually, 1Mb, 4Mb, and 16Mb 72-pin SIMMs are single-sided, and 2Mb, 8Mb, and 32Mb SIMMs are double-sided. This only refers to how the chips are wired-- SIMMs that are electrically "single-sided" may have chips on both sides of the board. Most 486 motherboards use memory in banks of 32 bits (plus parity), and may treat a double-sided SIMM as "two banks" (see your motherboard's manual for details). Some can take four SIMMs if they're single-sided, but only two if they're double-sided. Others can take four of either type. Pentium (and some 486) motherboards use pairs of 72-pin SIMMs for 64-bit memory. Since double-sided SIMMs can only access 32 bits at a time, you still need to use them in pairs to make 64 bits.

 

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