Segmentation in OS (Operating System)

Segmentation is a memory management technique that divides a computer’s primary memory into distinct segments or sections. Each segment is dedicated to a particular task or type of data, allowing for better organization and management of memory resources. Unlike the more traditional memory management approach of a single contiguous block, segmentation offers a more flexible and modular structure.

In the below PDF we discuss about Segmentation  in detail in simple language, Hope this will help in better understanding.

Operating System

Key Components of Segmentation:

  1. Segments: Segments are the fundamental units created through segmentation. Each segment corresponds to a logical division of memory and is used to store specific types of data or perform particular functions. For instance, a program might have separate segments for code, data, and stack.
  2. Segment Table: To keep track of the segments, a segment table is maintained by the operating system. This table contains information about each segment, including its base address and length. The base address denotes the starting point of the segment in memory.
  3. Segmentation Registers: Segmentation registers are used to hold the base addresses of segments. These registers are used by the CPU to calculate the physical address of data in a segment.

Advantages of Segmentation:

  • Modularity: Segmentation promotes modularity by allowing different segments for different purposes. This modular approach simplifies program design and maintenance, making it easier to understand and update code.
  • Protection: Segmentation provides a level of protection by assigning specific access rights to each segment. This helps prevent unauthorized access to critical segments, enhancing the security of the system.
  • Dynamic Memory Allocation: Segmentation facilitates dynamic memory allocation. New segments can be created or removed during program execution, providing flexibility in managing memory resources.
  • Sharing of Code and Data: Segmentation allows for the sharing of code and data among multiple processes. This can lead to significant savings in memory space and improved overall system efficiency.


In the ever-evolving landscape of operating systems, segmentation remains a crucial tool for managing memory effectively. Its modularity, protection mechanisms, and dynamic memory allocation features make it a valuable technique for optimizing system performance. While challenges such as fragmentation exist, advancements in operating system design continue to address these issues, ensuring that segmentation remains a vital component in the pursuit of efficient and reliable computing environments.

Related Question

Segmentation is a memory management technique in operating systems where the primary memory is divided into variable-sized logical segments. Each segment represents a different type of data or a specific job.

In segmentation, memory is divided into variable-sized segments, while in paging, it is divided into fixed-sized pages. Segmentation provides flexibility in handling varying data sizes, whereas paging simplifies memory allocation but may lead to internal fragmentation.

The two main types of segments in segmentation are code segments, which store program instructions, and data segments, which store data used by the program.

The segment table is a data structure used by the operating system to map logical addresses to physical addresses. It contains information about the base address and length of each segment in memory.

Segmentation enables memory protection by assigning different access rights (read, write, execute) to each segment. This prevents unauthorized access or modification of certain parts of the memory


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