A DIMM, or dual in-line memory module, is a double component of the single in-line memory module. In actual structure, DIMM contains several random-access memory chips on a single circuit board. This small board is connected to the computer motherboard. A single SIMM usually has a 36 data bit path, counting the usual four parity bits to the computer motherboard. This path normally requires a 72 pin connector between the circuit board and the motherboard. When Would DIMM Be Used? When there is a need for a larger path, DIMM can be used in place of the SIMM.
Essentially, what this does is increase the data bits from 36 to 72, providing a 64 bit transfer. When the computer is used in a business situation, this added power can be very helpful. Can DIMM Be Connected In The Same Method? Yes and no.
Yes, in that DIMM will reside on a smaller circuit board that is connected to the computer motherboard. However, the 72 pin connection that works with SIMM will not be sufficient for DIMM. The more powerful device will require a 168 pin connection in order to function.
Will DIMM Eventually Replace SIMM Completely? This is highly likely. As even home computers begin to be configured into home networks, and the home computer is used for more functions than ever before, it is likely that DIMM will become more attractive to both residential and business users. In time, technology will most likely render SIMM obsolete and rely on DIMM as the in-line memory module of choice.
Is It Possible To Update a Computer to Use DIMM Instead of SIMM? Yes. Usually, this will simply mean modifying the pin connection to the motherboard and preparing a circuit board that will include the DIMM module instead of the SIMM. In systems that already allow for the connection of two SIMM modules, it is possible to substitute a single DIMM without making any alterations at all.
Just about any computer that is powerful enough to drive Windows can be upgraded to include DIMM. However, it is always a good idea to have the system checked by a professional before making this change.
Tom Paine writes for The Tech FAQ and is the author of articles such as DIMM, Upgrade Memory, and DDR2 SDRAM.