The domain of computer memory has expanded pretty much in the last several years. From the past to the present, there are multiple types and subtypes of memory modules developed for computers.
Given the fact almost all the major memory modules have been covered in the previous articles, I am going to wrap up the Computer Memory Series with the last and the most advanced type of ROM called EEPROM.
Starting from the definition, this post is divided into three divisions with an emphasis on different aspects of EEPROM. It includes the programming mechanism, characteristics, and uses of EEPROM. Check out each one of them by scrolling the page.
What Is An EEPROM?
EEPROM or Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory is a memory device used in all types of laptops and computers. As a device with the capability to retain the data without a power supply, It functions as the primary source of memory in computers.
EEPROM is a small-sized device used for storing small chunks of data. More or less, EEPROM is used as a code or instructions-carrying device for a variety of electronic devices.
Much like EPROM, it consists of memory cells with each containing multiple floating gate transistors that contain the stored data. The key point of an EEPROM is that it can be erased and reprogrammed multiple times.
How Is An EEPROM Programmed?
Considering the fact an EEPROM is a very small chip, it demands special attention from the programmer to program it. An EEPROM takes longer than an EPROM to be reprogrammed.
But prior to reprogramming an EEPROM, it is mandatory to first erase it. This includes erasing each and every area of the memory device. After the EEPROM is completely erased, It can be used to store a new program.
The programming is usually executed by a specialized programmer backed with a high-voltage electronic machine to re-write the new program into an EEPROM. Unlike EPROMs that are injected with electrons, data re-writing in EEPROMs is carried out by the process of field electron emission.
In simple enough words, the programmer applies the electronic device to the targeted memory cells of the EEPROM with each consisting of multiple floating gate transistors. On a micro level, using a channel, these electrons are tunneled into the floating gate transistors for a permanent presence.
The emission of electrons into transistors allows the programmer to put the binary pattern of zero and one in the desired manner. The desired binary pattern acts as the new program for the EEPROM.
Characteristics Of EEPROM
Only the major characteristics of EEPROMs have been listed below.
Thousands Of Re-Writing Cycles
EEPROMs were built to provide the users with jaw-dropping numbers of reprogramming cycles. Comparatively, PROMs can’t be reprogrammed at all while EPROMs could be reprogrammed a few times. When it comes to EEPROMS, they can be reprogrammed 100000 times. This figure clearly reflects the data erasing and re-writing revolution in the world of ROM. If you look at the super small size of the EEPROM chip, It is a massive number of reprogramming cycles.
Extraordinary Data Retention Capability
EEPROMs are known as the best data retention memory devices. Their capability to remember the data is utterly amazing. An EEPROM can remember the stored data for as long as 40 years.
Store a program in an EEPROM, keep it somewhere safe and use it after a long long time only to be shocked that the program is still there. This characteristic of an EEPROM alone outweighs all characteristics of other ROMs combined.
Low Power Consumption
The combined workforce of a computer made of different components consumes a lot of power. With few exceptions, the power consumption of a component of a computer is generally low. Collectively, these components allow power savings for the computer.
Keeping the aspect of power consumption in mind, EEPROM manufacturers have designed them as power savers. These memory modules are exceptionally good at saving power. They consume far less power than their predecessor EPROMs. You can look at it this way, an EEPROM’s floating gate transistor uses power twice less than the same component of an EPROM.
An EEPROM doesn’t require to be removed from the electrical circuit of the computer for reprogramming. Instead, it can be reprogrammed while attached to the circuit. The on-board reprogramming capability of an EPROM is zero which is one of the reasons PC users prefer EEPROM over its predecessor.
Uses Of EEPROM
Like other ROM chips, the primary users of EEPROMs are on laptops and computers. EEPROMs are applied to all types of general-purpose and specific-purpose computing devices.
Historically, EEPROMs remained part of the internal structure of many types of electronic devices including digital temperature sensors, real-time clocks, and digital potentiometers. Because of their size, EEPROM chips could easily fit into small electronic devices as the main memory source.
Apart from that, EEPROMs have served the video game community as well. They were added to the video game cartridges for the purpose of saving game progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
EEPROM offers a remarkable package of pros with fewer cons than other types of ROM. Currently, EEPROM is the highest standard non-volatile memory technology. With the truly exceptionally reprogramming capability and almost no erasure time, EEPROM is the best non-volatile memory breed.