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For most enterprises, it is critical to eliminate data corruption, which is the goal of ECC (Error Correcting Memory) memory. ECC is a type of computer memory that detects and corrects spontaneously occurring memory bit errors.

What causes errors

Memory errors are caused by electrical or magnetic interference inside the computer. This interference can spontaneously change one bit of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) to the opposite state. Electromagnetic interference is present in the form of background radiation and increases with increasing altitude. In particular, the probability of errors in space vehicles is quite high.

One-bit errors can be subtle, meaning they don’t have a significant effect on the data, but because memory locations are correlated, changing one bit can affect the entire system.

How ECC memory works

ECC memory includes extra bits and memory controllers that control the extra bits in the add-on chip on the module. ECC memory uses extra bits to store encrypted code when writing data, and ECC code is stored at the same time. When reading data, the stored ECC is matched against the ECC generated when the data is read. If the read code does not match the stored one, its decryption with parity bits determines which bit was contained in the error, after which this bit is immediately corrected. Syndrome tables are a mathematical way of identifying these bit errors and then correcting them.

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As the data is processed, ECC memory continuously scans the code using a special algorithm that detects and corrects single-bit memory errors.

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