What Is EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory)?


EPROM stands for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. EPROM is a type of ROM where it can be erasable by using different techniques and programmable again with different data and code. In this tutorial we will learn what is EPROM, applications, programming, erasing, advantages and disadvantages of the EPROM.

What Is EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory)?

EPROM is a non-volatile memory chip that is invented by intel in 1971 as read-only. But there is a technique where ultraviolet light is used to erase the EPROM if needed where new data and code can be written after that. The new data and code can be written into the EPROM easily. EPROM generally used in computer and server cases where there is no or very little light but if used outside of the case the window is covered with a label to prevent sunlight. In the manufacturing of the EPROM, MOS transistors are used to reprogram. We can call to write or store data and code into EPROM also reprogram which will set a new state for the program of the EPROM. EPROM can be erased and reprogrammed multiple times without a problem.

EPROM
EPROM

Applications of EPROM

EPROM is a very useful hardware or mechanism where it can be used in different applications and areas.

  • EPROM is used in computer BIOS in order to store a bootloader which will initialize the computer and load a very basic BIOS operation system to load the normal operating system.
  • Microcontrollers use EPROMs in order to store some data which can be stored over reboots.
  • EPROM has also used in games especially low-level graphical games in order to store game data, code and program.
  • EPROM is mainly used in personal and enterprise computers to assist other devices.
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Advantages of EPROM

The usage of EPROM can provide some advantages over other technologies like ROM, PROM, etc.

  • `EPROM` is a cost-effective solution, especially for multiple reprogramming cases.
  • `EPROM` is easier for testing and debugging operations.
  • `EPROM` can store the data even without power.

Disadvantages of EPROM

EPROM can have some disadvantages against more advanced technologies like EEPROM.

  • `EPROM` has higher static power consumption then EEPROM.
  • `EPROM` erase operation is much harder and longer then EEPROM.
  • `EPROM` can not erase the data byte by byte.
  • In order to erase data the `EPROM` chip should be removed from the mainboard.
  • `EPROM` can be costly then PROM in some cases.

EPROM vs EEPROM

EPROM is very similar to the EEPROM but they have some similarities and differences.

  • `EPROM` can be erased with UV light where `EEPROM` can be erased with an electric signal.
  • `EPROM` is the modern and better version of the `PROM` where `EEPROM` is the modern and better version of the `EPROM`.
  • `EPROM` and `EEPROM` are both used for external programming related hardware or the lower layer of the operating system.
  • `EPROM` and `EEPROM` can be reprogrammer after erased with related methods.
  • `EPROM` transistors consume about 12.5 where `EEPROM` transistors consume 5 volts.
  • `EPROM` uses the electron injection programming technique for programming where `EEPROM` uses the tunnel effect technique for programming.
  • `EPROM` erasing operation can be between 15-20 minutes where `EEPROM` erasing operation takes only5 milliseconds which is a lot faster than EPROM.
  • `EPROM` should be taken off from the computer circuit or mainboard in order to erase and reprogram where `EEPROM` can be erased within the computer circuit and mainboard without a take-off.
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