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Logic Chips vs Memory Chips: 9 Differences

  1. Logic chips are the “brains” of the electronic device, whereas memory chips store data.
  2. Logic chips process information, perform calculations and execute instructions. Memory chips store information either temporarily (volatile memory, RAM) or permanently (non-volatile, NAND flash).
  3. Logic chips are more expensive to manufacture and design as they are more complex. Designing the most advanced logic chips can cost up to $540 million. Design of memory chips is simpler and cheaper.

Logic and memory chips are intended for different applications in the semiconductor industry.

Logic IC vs Memory IC: Technical Comparison

Logic chips are the brain of the electronic device, performing calculations and executing instructions. They are more complex, consume more power and offer more customization options. Memory chips are intended for data storage so their design is simpler and, in general, they consume less power.

Logic chips

Memory chips

·    CPUs (Central Processing Unit)

·    GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit)

·    ASICs (Application-Specific
Integrated Circuits)

·    RAM (Random Access Memory)

·    ROM (Read/Only Memory)

·    Flash memory

The brain of the electronic device. They perform calculations, do decision-making and execute instructions. Circuitry is more complex.

They store information and are simpler, consisting of arrays of memory cells that store data.

·       Volatile memory: saves data only while the device is turned on (RAM).

·       Non-volatile memory: saves data even when the device is turned off (NAND).

More complex design. More customization options.

Design is more standard.

Operate at high speed, which is crucial for system performance.

Speed can vary:

·       Primary storage (RAM): fast and low latency. CPU has direct access to RAM and they are located physically close.

·       Secondary storage (hard drive) is slower

Consume more power due to their computational nature.

Consume less power: they read and write data which is less complex.

Logic IC vs Memory IC: Economic Comparison

There are important economic implications when considering logic ICs vs. memory ICs. Logic chips like CPUs or GPUs are more difficult and expensive to manufacture, as they use advanced technology. Memory chips tend to be cheaper and normally last for a longer time.

Logic chips

Memory chips

More complex and more expensive to manufacture. They use cutting-edge technology.

Simpler and cheaper to manufacture. They can be manufactured with older technology (older process nodes).

Manufactured with advanced process technologies (7nm, 5nm, 3nm) to improve performance and power efficiency.

Manufactured with a wide range of process technologies. Some chips are manufactured in older, more mature nodes (NAND memory chips).

Shorter lifecycle. Improvements in technology can quickly make them obsolete.

Longer lifecycle.

Innovation focuses on creating faster and more efficiency processors.

Innovation focuses on bringing down manufacturing costs.

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