What is EPROM in computer memory? This short-answer question will help you better understand the workings of computer memory. EPROMs store data for short periods of time, up to a year. The memory consists of two types: static and programmable. The former type is used in computers and data storage devices. The latter type is used in digital cameras, smartwatches, and other consumer electronics.
An EPROM’s bits are stored in a binary form, with one bit being set to 1 when it is erased. The other bits are set to 0 or cleared. For example, programming a byte with a value of 0 will only affect the byte and not the rest of the memory. To change a byte, you must either erase the whole EPROM or patch it with another one. If the accumulated pulse time reaches 25mS, the EPROM is bad.
EEPROMs were created in the late 1970s, and were initially designed to replace the obsolete ultraviolet-erased part of the computer’s memory. Today, they are widely used in computers and other electronic devices, and are often built into smart cards. They also serve as computer memory chips and are used to store BIOS and other critical computer data. In addition to data storage, they can store the operating system and other important software.
EPROMs are easy to recognize. You can tell an EPROM by the clear fused quartz window on its package. The silicon chip inside is visible through the window, and the EPROM is susceptible to ultraviolet light during erasing. These devices are usually used in microcontrollers. Aside from their importance, EPROMs are also inexpensive and versatile. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both types of computer memory, so make sure you understand the difference.
EEPROM is faster. It only takes five to ten milliseconds to erase its content. It can be reprogrammed n times. However, the life cycle of EEPROM is limited. Its manufacturer determines the lifecycle of its chips. Modern EEPROMs have a life cycle of up to 1 million. You can program an EPROM chip by exposing it to ultraviolet light for twenty minutes. The EEPROMs do not need to be removed from the computer. EEPROMs can be erased by electricity.
An EPROM contains eight data lines. Each data line is a byte wide. The data lines connect the byte of storage to the address pins. They are connected to the eight-bit byte by address pins. Each bit is either a one or a zero, depending on the storage transistor. The data lines are bi-directional. When you read or program an EPROM, the data lines act as outputs and inputs.