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From NintendoWiki, your source on Nintendo information. By fans, for fans.
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The RAM (Random-Access Memory) refers to a form of computer and electronic memory/storage, which may be found on a physical chip. Its name refers to how it can be read in any order, and it is designed to be written to and overwritten by the engine as well.


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Nintendo uses RAM in combination with other parts such as a RAM protector, the ROM, ROM mapper, a cell battery (external RAM) and occasionally their own proprietary chips (otherwise chips attributed to other game companies) within the cartridge, like the Super FX chip in some Super Nintendo Entertainment System games, to run on a game console/platform).

The RAM is both read to and written to for temporary storage from the hardware registers (such as variables in general like the number of Pokémon Red is holding). External RAM may be referred to as SRAM, and can only be read/written to at certain times. Graphical RAM may be referred to as VRAM. Hardware RAM may be referred to as HRAM.

Like ROM, RAM may be banked so the game can access different portions of it, and parts of it at a given time.

Although RAM is usually for storage it can be executed as if it was ROM as well. Though this may be intended (for instance, for the OAM DMA) and the code of certain game's ROMs that do this on purpose, it is known to be an issue; where unintended RAM execution as a result of unintended behaviour/bugs/glitches is classed as arbitrary code execution).