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EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory)

EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) is user-modifiable read-only memory (ROM) that can be erased and reprogrammed (written to) repeatedly through the application of higher than normal electrical voltage. Unlike EPROM chips, EEPROMs do not need to be removed from the computer to be modified. However, an EEPROM chip has to be erased and reprogrammed in its entirety, not selectively. It also has a limited life - that is, the number of times it can be reprogrammed is limited to tens or hundreds of thousands of times. In an EEPROM that is frequently reprogrammed while the computer is in use, the life of the EEPROM can be an important design consideration.

A special form of EEPROM is flash memory, which uses normal PC voltages for erasure and reprogramming.

This was last updated in March 2010

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