I have gotten very confused on the fundamentals of computer memory in regards to memory cells and chips. I have been reading Assembly Language Step By Step Programming with Linux by Jeff Duntemann and in Chapter 3 "Lifting the Hood" he dives into what a computer is, starting with how memory in a computer works (RAM, memeory chips, and cells). The confusion starts when he uses memory chip and memory cell interchangeably.
It states that transistors act as switches and have either a state of on or off which represent 1 or 0 respectively in binary. Then it states
...the transistor switch and its support components are called a memory cell.
A single computer memory cell, such as the transistor-based one we’re speaking of here, holds one binary digit, either a 1 or a 0.
So from the above quotes I have the impression that a cell holds one bit and has a transistor.
The confusion starts here:
Whereas in the beginning one chip held one transistor, in time semiconductor designers crisscrossed the chip into four equal areas and made each area an independent transistor.
Not it is stating a chip is holding the transistor but before it said the cell held a transistor. It also says the chip was redesigned to hold four transistors so in essence now a memory cell/chip holds four bits of memory not one as it said previously.
Then it goes back to using them as separate objects.
...256 memory cells could occupy one chip of silicon, usually in an array of 8 cells by 32.
Now it says chips hold cells.
The question I have is what are the differences between the cell and chip? Also if you could help clarify my confusion of how memory works.
Follow up question is how does this relate to RAM? Does RAM hold multiple chips or is the chip actually RAM in this context?