What Is Memory Address Register MAR?

by Ashley Seehorn
A CPU image by Yanir Taflev from Fotolia.com

Registers are part of the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer. Registers are memory locations that can be accessed quickly for rapid retrieval of data.

Register Array

Most processors have multiple registers, called a register array, that hold data and instructions that must be accessed rapidly during the execution of an application.


One of the registers located in the computer's processor is the memory address register or MAR. The MAR stores the physical memory address where the next piece of data will be written or the next instruction is located.

Memory Translator

The MAR is also known as a Memory Address Translator or Decoder. This is because it translates the data to the read from memory or written to memory into an actual location on the memory, assigning the space on RAM to be used by the CPU.

Fetch-Execute Cycle

During the process of fetching data and executing applications, the CPU uses the MAR to store the address to which these data will be placed on the system RAM, or where they will be accessed from.


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About the Author

Ashley Seehorn has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on a variety of websites including: eHow, Answerbag and Opposing Views Cultures. She has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught all ages from preschool through college. She is currently working as a Special Education Teacher.

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