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storage device

storage device A device that can receive data and retain it for subsequent retrieval. Such devices cover a wide range of capacities and speeds of access. The semiconductor devices used as the main memory for the processor may take only a few nanoseconds to retrieve data but the cost of storing each bit is very high by comparison with the devices used as backing store, which may take milliseconds or even many seconds to retrieve data. See also memory hierarchy, memory management.

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