What is Integrated Data Storage?

Instructor: David Gloag
Almost every electronic device we use these days has integrated storage of some type. In this lesson, we'll talk about what Data Storage is, in particular, Integrated Data Storage, why we want it, and what the future holds.

The Need for More Storage

We live in a world where we use many devices in our everyday lives. We use a coffee or tea maker first thing in the morning, we operate cell phones throughout the day, and we watch our favorite news channel on TV during or after the evening meal. Is it any wonder that these devices are constantly getting smarter in response to our needs and desires? Not really. It seems to be the natural way of things. But have you ever wondered how these items are becoming so smart? How do they know what to do and when to do it? There must be something behind the scenes. And there is; it's called data storage.

What is Data Storage?

Data storage, with respect to technology, is a place where we store relevant information for future use. Think of it like the shed where you store your lawn-maintenance equipment. The items in the shed sit there until needed, then you pull them out at the appropriate time to cut the lawn or kill the weeds. Technology storage is much like that. In the smart version of a coffee or tea maker, storage is used to keep track of a start-up time. When the clock says that time has been reached, it turns itself on automatically. The same is true for a cell phone or TV. Things like preferences, playlists, favorite channels, and such are saved in storage for future use.

What is Integrated Data Storage and Why We Want It?

Integrated data storage resides directly on the device. For example, the storage that is used for music on our cell phones is this type. We want storage to be integrated because we need our devices to be useful, and more importantly, self-contained. If you think about it, how useful would our cell phones be if they required an external part in order to play music? Well, not so much. It would depend on the size of the extra piece, to be sure. At minimum, the cell phone wouldn't be so convenient.

What Do We Use Integrated Storage For?

Integrated storage is used for a number of things, such as cell phones, coffee or tea makers, and TVs, and many real-world examples exist: personal computers store private data and software programs; kitchen appliances use it to regulate cooking temperatures in ovens and microwaves; CD and DVD jukeboxes store digital songs and movie data. Almost every electronic device these days has program code (firmware) that runs it, and this code is saved on integrated storage. The number of gadgets using integrated storage is large and will only get larger as devices become smarter and capable of doing more.

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