computer hardware, consumer electronics, electronic components  

Erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM)

Semiconductor memory devices can be classified into different types. Among them, there are random access memories (RAMs) and read only memories (ROMs). When the power supply to a memory is interrupted, stored data in the RAM is erased while the ROM maintains stored data. For this reason, memory devices such as ead only memories are called "nonvolatile memory devices." An electrically programmable read only memory (EPROM) device is a non-volatile memory integrated circuit which is employed to store a bit of binary data in each cell. An EPROM is widely used in a variety of logic devices because it can electrically store and erase data, and it can retain data when power is turned off. EPROM structures are used to build non-volatile semiconductor memories, especially for integrated circuits (embedded EPROM) and generally in computers or in microprocessor-controlled devices for storing programs and/or data that must be retained without a supply voltage. The EPROM is a core device of a micro controller unit for controlling equipment such as a central processing unit (CPU) and remote controllers for household appliances like televisions (TVs), video, or audio devices. EPROMs are implemented using floating gate field effect transistors in which the binary states of the EPROM cell are represented by the presence or absence of sufficient charge on the floating gate to prevent conduction even when a normal high signal is applied to the gate of the EPROM transistor. Each memory cell of an EPROM structure generally has two transistors, namely a selection or access transistor that selects the memory cell, and a floating gate transistor, whose floating gate represents an erased or programmed state according to its positive or negative charge. The memory cell transistor's state is read by placing an operating voltage across its source and drain and on its control gate, and then detecting the level of current flowing between the source and drain as to whether the device is programmed to be "on" or "off" at the control gate voltage selected.


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