Read-only memory

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ROM is simply Read Only Memory.

Unlike RAM, ROMs cannot be written to. At one point, ROMs are also typically slower than RAM.

ROMs come in several flavors:


PROMs can be programmed ONCE then read many times. If there are any mistakes in the PROM code, the entire chip must be discarded. While PROMs can be read in a normal board, they need to be programmed in a special device (since programming them often requires special voltages).



EPROMs can be erased after they have been programmed. Normally there is a small window in the chip in which exposure to UV light will erase the EPROMs programming. EPROMs also need to be programmed in a special programmer.


EEPROMS can be erased electronically, and re-programmed, usually through the application of higher than normal voltage. In modern EEPROMS this is generated internally. Unlike EPROMs, EEPROMS can be re-written in-circuit.

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