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Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM)

Definition - What does Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) mean?

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) is a stable, non-volatile memory storage system that is used for storing minimal data quantities in computer and electronic systems and devices, such as circuit boards. This data may be stored, even without a permanent power source, as device configuration or calibration tables.

If storing higher volumes of data that is static (like in USB drives), certain types of EEPROM (like flash memory) are more cost-effective than conventional EEPROM devices.

Techopedia explains Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM)

EEPROM, with the help of an electric field, is eraseable and reprogrammable, but with a shorter lifetime. This means that it only may be reprogrammed tens to hundreds of thousands of times. This is far more limited than modern EEPROM, which may be reprogrammed a million times. Additionally, to perform a rewrite, EEPROM chips must be completely erased, unlike other read-only memory (ROM) models.

The following are the primary electrical interface categories for EEPROM devices:

  • Serial bus: Serial EEPROM generally functions in three different phases - Address Phase, Data Phase and OP-Code Phase. Most familiar types of serial interface are Microwire, SPI, 1-Wire, I²C and UNI/O.
  • Parallel bus: A parallel EEPROM device usually includes a data bus of eight bits and a wide enough address bus for total memory handling. The majority of devices include write-protect and chip select pins. Many microcontrollers also include built-in parallel EEPROM.
EEPROM is mainly used in devices (like digital potentiometers, digital temperature sensors and real-time clocks) to save calibration or similar data that is required when the power is switched off or removed.

EEPROMs are recognized as arrays of floating gate transistors.

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