shadow RAM

Shadow RAM is a copy of Basic Input/Output Operating System (BIOS) routines from read-only memory (ROM) into a special area of random access memory (RAM) so that they can be accessed more quickly. Access in shadow RAM is typically in the 60-100 nanosecond range whereas ROM access is in the 125-250 ns range. In some operating systems such as DOS, certain BIOS routines are not only used during the boot or startup of the system, but also during normal operation, especially to drive the video display terminal. In Windows and OS/2, however, these routines are not used and the use of shadow RAM is not necessary. In some systems, the user can turn the use of shadow RAM off or on.

This was last updated in April 2005

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