1. mrkawphy's Avatar
    I am just trying to understand when reading the specs of the blackberry series what exactly the memory portion represents.

    When i read things like 256mb, and 512mb being standard in the phones that are upcoming is this referring to the "ram" or the internal memory that stores the games and apps i download onto say my curve? I apologize if this seems kinda stupid but I would assume that when listing the specs of a phone they would list the "RAM" and the "hard drive space" + the max capacity of an SD card it can handle.
    04-28-10 12:13 PM
  2. MrObvious's Avatar
    I agree. People use the wrong term here on CB all the time. Memory typically refers to RAM in my books. If you wanna talk about how many MB/GB are on there for putting your e-mails/apps that's called storage. The 256/512MB of storage that the 9*** series phones are coming out with nowadays are for your e-mail and stuff and like the 9650 will have 2GB extra storage like an extra SD card almost. I think they come with 64MB of RAM (at least the 9630 does).
    04-28-10 12:30 PM
  3. elvin1983's Avatar
    It would be nice for some clairification, because I haven't really heard about how much RAM is available on the BB devices. Of course the 256mb is the available device memory where everything is saved to, but also that memory is used by the JavaVM when using various applications, which to me makes it seem like it is RAM as well, since the application in use is using that memory to perform it's operations. Anyone have any more information on this?
    04-28-10 12:38 PM
  4. Radius's Avatar
    Let's define what RAM really is. In terms of a BB, RAM is the device memory, it's app storage, and it's the media card. RAM is memory that can access data with a constant seek time, it does not need to traverse the data sequentially to find the next requested piece of information.

    So to make this more clear, a program is running in the BB and it needs some info from the media card. It issues an address to read from and requests the data. The media card simply connects the CPU to that location and it reads the memory. Need a second piece of information? Repeat the process and the app has the data.

    What is not RAM? A hard drive. Every time you request data from different locations the hard drive travels in a linear fashion. In order for the hard drive to locate new information the heads scan the platter as it spins. In this sense it reads the information only in a linear way. Accessing something at random is not possible even though it may seem like it is.

    Now for the BB specifics. RAM and app space are the same thing. It is a chip somewhere on board that is a non volatile form of RAM with a very low read/write access time. While an application resides in one portion of the RAM, the application stores its active memory in another place on the chip.

    From this point of view there is no distinction between what you perceive as RAM and program memory. The PC has a definite distinction as application memory is linear and it's active memory is RAM, but that does not apply to a BB or any other device that utilizes discreet components for data/program storage.
    04-28-10 12:52 PM
  5. elvin1983's Avatar
    Let's define what RAM really is. In terms of a BB, RAM is the device memory, it's app storage, and it's the media card. RAM is memory that can access data with a constant seek time, it does not need to traverse the data sequentially to find the next requested piece of information.

    So to make this more clear, a program is running in the BB and it needs some info from the media card. It issues an address to read from and requests the data. The media card simply connects the CPU to that location and it reads the memory. Need a second piece of information? Repeat the process and the app has the data.

    What is not RAM? A hard drive. Every time you request data from different locations the hard drive travels in a linear fashion. In order for the hard drive to locate new information the heads scan the platter as it spins. In this sense it reads the information only in a linear way. Accessing something at random is not possible even though it may seem like it is.

    Now for the BB specifics. RAM and app space are the same thing. It is a chip somewhere on board that is a non volatile form of RAM with a very low read/write access time. While an application resides in one portion of the RAM, the application stores its active memory in another place on the chip.

    From this point of view there is no distinction between what you perceive as RAM and program memory. The PC has a definite distinction as application memory is linear and it's active memory is RAM, but that does not apply to a BB or any other device that utilizes discreet components for data/program storage.
    Radius, I KNEW that you could answer this question! So my guess was correct, the total device memory works as the RAM and as the device storage.
    04-28-10 01:03 PM
  6. mrkawphy's Avatar
    Ok but how much is reserved for running applications / games and how much is reserved for data / application storage? I would think that they would seperate the two to prevent overlaps in memory from storage to what needs to be accessed constantly such as the OS? I accept that it is on 1 chip and that makes complete sense from a real estate point of view in building the device.
    04-28-10 01:11 PM
  7. Radius's Avatar
    Ok but how much is reserved for running applications / games and how much is reserved for data / application storage? I would think that they would seperate the two to prevent overlaps in memory from storage to what needs to be accessed constantly such as the OS? I accept that it is on 1 chip and that makes complete sense from a real estate point of view in building the device.
    There is no concept of reserved memory. It is shared so if you install too many apps you just run out of memory. And it does not overlap, when a region of memory is marked as used, it is used and inaccessible to anything else until it is freed.
    04-28-10 01:13 PM
  8. mrkawphy's Avatar
    Interesting thanks for clearing that up!
    04-28-10 01:16 PM
  9. Radius's Avatar
    My pleasure.
    04-28-10 01:17 PM
  10. KillYouWithMyMind's Avatar
    Radius, you just blew my mind.

    I've got a mess to clean up, thanks buddy.
    04-28-10 01:22 PM
  11. BigBadWulf's Avatar
    I hate to differ with Radius, and blow your mind some more, but starting with the 8330 all BlackBerries have had both RAM (random access memory, or what your apps/OS run on), and ROM (read only memory, or what your apps/OS are stored on). I can offer a great example, using Fixmo images of both my older Jav:


    And my Onyx:




    WAPers do it With A Passion
    I'm many people's brother, have several BB daughters and sons,
    but I sure as heck ain't your momma!
    *
    I'm a Survivor Baby!But the dang game fizzled out


    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-28-10 01:44 PM
  12. vfleming's Avatar
    Thanks for the clearing up of that one.
    04-28-10 01:48 PM
  13. Radius's Avatar
    I'm not completely in touch with what each platform has in terms of memory, but any mixture is fine. Overall RAM is RAM though, no difference. And you can use volatile RAM for app storage just as easily as non volatile RAM but you won't see that coming to a device like this anytime soon.

    I think in terms of implementation the entirety of the program memory is probably already utilized. Most modern operating systems consume all available program memory and use some tricks to make it appear as though the application itself that is running has some dedicated memory, but it's just a trick as I say.

    And it makes sense to have some volatile RAM as program memory, it's much faster than other kinds of memory. It also shouldn't need to protect or encrypt what is in there as RAM is cleared on power off.

    [edit]

    And Wulf, it's still RAM, not ROM. Actually technically it's NAND flash from what I understand. ROM wouldn't be a good idea for the device.
    04-28-10 01:50 PM
  14. herewegoagain123's Avatar
    lol why would one even need to know this, lol but thanks the more you know.
    04-28-10 01:51 PM
  15. Radius's Avatar
    lol why would one even need to know this, lol but thanks the more you know.
    Because knowledge is power, and one day I'm going to take over the world with everything I know.

    Or I will forget it in due course and go on with my daily life, anything is possible.
    04-28-10 01:53 PM
  16. MrObvious's Avatar
    So BB uses the same storage for RAM and actual phone storage? It doesn't use a seperate type of memory? Kinda like how a PC might use DDR1/2/3 and use a SSD/HD for storage?
    04-28-10 01:53 PM
  17. Radius's Avatar
    So BB uses the same storage for RAM and actual phone storage?
    The newer models have multiple sources of RAM is the main point. But I guess storage and execution memory are separate things on newer devices.
    04-28-10 01:54 PM
  18. BigBadWulf's Avatar
    The source of my RAM/ROM confusion:

    blackberry 9700 ram rom - Google Search





    WAPers do it With A Passion
    At CrackBerry, I bring good search to life.
    Click Here To Be Banned* I'm a Survivor Baby!But the dang game fizzled out


    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-28-10 02:24 PM
  19. Radius's Avatar
    The source of my RAM/ROM confusion:

    blackberry 9700 ram rom - Google Search





    WAPers do it With A Passion
    At CrackBerry, I bring good search to life.
    Click Here To Be Banned* I'm a Survivor Baby!But the dang game fizzled out


    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Gotcha, these terms are used so interchangeably these days it's hard to know what's what. ROM is not as common today but is still used when certain pieces of information need to remain locked in place.

    Personally if I was that website I would just label it "Program Memory" and be done with it.
    04-28-10 02:29 PM
  20. MrObvious's Avatar
    The newer models have multiple sources of RAM is the main point. But I guess storage and execution memory are separate things on newer devices.
    That's what I thought. Someone said the Tour only had 64MB of RAM which makes sense. It certainly seems to swap a lot (like when I fire up Bolt). RAM when power is lost (three-finger salute, battery pull, or dead battery) doesn't keep the information in it so when you boot up you have to have some kind of storage that isn't volatile (NVRAM I believe is the technical term).

    It's been a few years since I took electronics but I remember the basics clearly. But from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong please), you get (assuming the Tour since it's what I got) 64MB of RAM and that's what you have to start with, plus the 256MB of storage for your e-mails and temporary databases (SMSs, calendars, etc.). If the RAM runs out I think it can pull from the 256MB of storage and use it much like a PC uses a swap/paging file for extra RAM space.
    04-28-10 03:20 PM
  21. Radius's Avatar
    That's what I thought. Someone said the Tour only had 64MB of RAM which makes sense. It certainly seems to swap a lot (like when I fire up Bolt). RAM when power is lost (three-finger salute, battery pull, or dead battery) doesn't keep the information in it so when you boot up you have to have some kind of storage that isn't volatile (NVRAM I believe is the technical term).

    It's been a few years since I took electronics but I remember the basics clearly. But from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong please), you get (assuming the Tour since it's what I got) 64MB of RAM and that's what you have to start with, plus the 256MB of storage for your e-mails and temporary databases (SMSs, calendars, etc.). If the RAM runs out I think it can pull from the 256MB of storage and use it much like a PC uses a swap/paging file for extra RAM space.
    First of all, I don't think it matters if RAM is cleared or not on startup. That is at the discretion of the application itself when it starts regardless if it stores information in NVRAM or VRAM. Personally when I write firmware I clear the memory on startup even if it's VRAM just as a sanity check. But I see what you're getting at.

    There could very well be a concept of a swap drive much like Windows or any other OS has inside the JVM for a BB, I am not really sure though. If that's the case then it would be very scary and could account for a few crashes occasionally. BB's use NAND flash which while it's very fast to erase and write, it's very error prone. When you write to NAND it isn't just written once but a whole bunch of times, and NAND memory is about 50% bigger than is reported because there's error reporting bits in there.

    But hot RIM implements things is pure speculation on my part.
    04-28-10 05:19 PM
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