Storage units

The history of computing is quite extensive and interesting and has developed more and more as time goes by. It is also linked to the history of storage units which have undergone a wide variety of important changes, from simple punched cards to the units we have today. All its evolution has been very interesting and we will analyze it below.

What are storage units?

The storage units are a type of device which has the function of being able to read or write different data on media that both logically and physically store the files of a given computer system .

  • Storage Units Features
  • Source
  • History of storage units
  • What are storage units for?
  • Types
  • How Storage Drives Work
  • Storage Units of Measure
  • Importance
  • Examples of storage units

Storage Units Features

Among its most representative characteristics are the following:

  • They come in different shapes and sizes and can adapt to different devices.
  • They are also known by the name of storage medium or storage medium .
  • Storage can be measured using megabytes , gigabytes, or terabytes .
  • They are ways of storing information permanently or they can also do it temporarily .
  • They are electronic components that are part of a computer , but they can also be external.
  • They are capable of storing large amounts of data .
  • They can also be internal or external .
  • They are also considered as the secondary memory of the computer.


The origin of storage units begins with the creation of punched cards in the 1960s, which were inserted into a sequential processing machine to be housed and stored within memory . It was a type of reading in which the computer could read the information through holes located in the card.

History of storage units

As we mentioned earlier the first storage unit that existed was the punch card , this system was used until the mid- 1970s when magnetic tapes finally appeared . Between the years 1980 and 1990 the floppy disk was born , a storage unit that turned out to be a novelty and for this reason had an important impact within society thanks to its functions and its practicality. At that time, this was the ideal medium to distribute software , store information , transfer data and even createsmall backups .

Shortly after the CD was born whose format was established in 1985 by Sony and Philips and shortly after the DVD emerged which had better and more important capabilities. Already at the beginning of the XX century , the USB memory also known as pendrive emerged in the year 2000, the companies IBM and Trek Technology managed to sell the first units. This type of storage unit managed to gain great popularity mainly due to its comfort, size and ease of accessing information.

Then, another of the great steps that took place in the history of storage units was the creation of portable hard drives which were very easy to use on any computer and could back up large amounts of information with the disadvantage that they could be affected and were hit or handled roughly. This is how, over the years, the favorite type of storage unit for many was created, due to its economic advantages and security : the cloud.

The cloud is the latest innovation that was created to store and transfer data and it is a system of computer networks in which it can be accessed from anywhere through the Internet . It is also important to mention that many of the devices that were part of the history of storage units are still being used.

What are storage units for?

Storage units are devices that serve to store different types of data but can also be used to execute some types of tasks and applications . It is important to mention that any type of file that is created or saved within a computer is stored in this type of device as well as any type of application that is used, including the operating system with which the computer works.


There are two main types of storage devices. They can be primary , which turn out to be necessary for systems to function since they are vital processes that make the operating system can be started or they can be secondary , which are a type of accessories that can be or not removed and with which you can save or extract data from a certain system. The following are types of storage units:

  • RAM Memory : is the acronym for Ramdom Access Memory which means Random Access Memory . This type of unit is used as a working medium in computers since the instructions that the processor and many of the software must follow are stored in it .
  • ROM memory : it is a type of storage in which there is data that is extremely difficult to modify or even impossible, which is needed for computer and operating systems to function properly. ROM means Read-only Memory, which means Read-only Memory in Spanish.
  • Digital devices with magnetic tape : they are generally known by the acronym DDS and are a type of system that handles digital information through a magnetic tape.
  • Units Hard Drive : are known as HDD these units have more capacity to store data and are usually located within the CPU so it can not be removed . They store all the operational information of the system, files and software .
  • Portable disk drives: it is a type of storage unit that can be removed and is located outside the disk. In order for them to work, they must be connected to the computer through its ports. In addition, they are capable of storing large amounts of information.
  • Cloud storage : this type of storage allows data to be transmitted quickly through the internet and works as both a writing and a reading device . It is important to mention that in this type of storage unit the data is stored in ” the cloud ” instead of being stored on physical media.

How Storage Drives Work

The storage units are devices that work by storing information when they record the data into memory which makes the transport of information easier. Depending on the device, this will be how it works. In the case of the hard disk , it uses a plate having a magnetic coating rotating and head of read-write which is responsible for reading the magnetic charges in the ports of the plates. A positive charge is 1 and a negative charge is zero. Plate head reads number stringsand this is transferred and then decoded into codes within the processor by means of the buses .

Storage Units of Measure

Units that can be used as a measure of storage can be the kilobyte (KB), the megabyte (MB) and the gigabyte (GB). You can also use binary units of measurement, including kibibyte (KiB), mebibyte (MiB) and gibibyte (GiB).


Storage units are very important because through them it is possible to store any type of data either temporarily or permanently , large or small . They also allow managing massive volumes of information that are necessary in today’s world and it is a tool that allows you to back up the information that needs to be stored, having it available at the time it is required.

Examples of storage units

Some examples are:

  • CD-ROM : is a compact disc of memory that only has the ability to read and operated by a laser beam which sends signals to binary computer.
  • DVD-ROM: has the ability to allow partial or definitive writing so that it can then be read on different occasions.
  • Blue Ray : it is a type of optical disc that has a large storage and reading capacity and can support up to 33.4 gigabytes of capacity.
  • Zip drives : they work by means of magnetic disks that allow them to have an incredible storage capacity and they work as peripheral drives, however, they are no longer so common to find.
  • Flash memory : makes it impossible for information to be stored in aportable format and connects to computers using USB or Firewire.
  • Memory cards: it is a type of flash memory that makes it possible for information to be physically handled on a large scale using USB ports.

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