The full form of EPROM is Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. It is a memory chip, which is non-volatile in nature signifying that it stores the data even when the power is switched off. An electrical device individually programmes each EPROM. After that, the data can be removed by shining intense ultraviolet light on the EPROM.
An EPROM has a transparent fused quartz window that allows exposure to ultraviolet light at the top of the package. This window provides a view of the silicon chip.
Storage is contained within a single field effect transistor. An internal channel exists in this field effect transistor. These connectors are located at the ends of the channel as the source and drain. A conductive gas electrode is placed on top of an insulating oxide layer that covers the channel. Afterwards, a control gate electrode and more oxide are present.
By addressing the address pins and decoding them there, followed by connecting them to the output buffers, data can be recovered from the EPROM. Electrically, the EPROM programming procedure cannot be undone. The stored charge can dissipate and the memory can be erased when the oxide is ionised by ultraviolet radiation, which also causes the oxide to ionise.
Applications of EPROM
It was believed that EPROM would only be utilised for development because it was too expensive for general manufacture. However, it was discovered that EPROM was cost-effective as a component for low-volume manufacture.
Some microcontrollers, like the Intel 8048, the Freescale 68HC11, the PIC microcontroller (C version), etc., used on-chip EPROM. These microcontrollers were offered in windowed variants, which were mostly used for creating and fixing programmes.
Advantages of EPROM
These are some of the benefits of EPROM:
- Since EPROM is non-volatile, it keeps its memory even when the power is out. Therefore, no external memory is needed.
- EPROM is quite efficient.
- The data in an EPROM can be deleted and reprogrammed since it is reprogrammable.
Disadvantages of EPROM
The following list includes certain EPROM drawbacks:
- EPROM transistors have higher resistance.
- The data on the EPROM must be erased using UV light. Electrical signals cannot be used to do this.
- In EPROM, a specific byte of data cannot be erased. The entire data set is removed.
- EPROM has a high static power requirement.
- The data in EPROM must be deleted over a period of time. In contrast to EEPROM, where data may be instantly erased, this cannot be done.
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