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Definition: byte addressable

A primary characteristic of random access memory (RAM), which comprises the common DRAM and SRAM chips in every computer. Highlighting the essential difference between memory and storage, byte addressability means that a single character can be read from or written to any memory byte, whereas disks, SSDs and flash drives are read and written in fixed chunks of hundreds or thousands of bytes. Byte addressability enables even a single numeric digit to be calculated, compared and copied independently of the data residing in the bytes next to it. Contrast with block addressable. See storage vs. memory, 3D XPoint, memory, solid state drive and magnetic disk.

Each Byte Is Addressable
Byte addressable RAM allows contiguous data to be split apart for human readability. For more examples, see computer.