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EEPROM vs. EPROM: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 3, 2024
EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) can be erased and reprogrammed electronically, while EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) requires UV light for erasure.
EEPROM vs. EPROM

Key Differences

EEPROM, or Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, allows data to be erased and rewritten electronically, making it more versatile for frequent updates. EPROM, or Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, requires exposure to UV light for data erasure, limiting its reusability.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 03, 2024
In EEPROM, individual bytes can be erased and reprogrammed, providing high flexibility for data manipulation. EPROM, in contrast, requires the entire chip to be erased at once, which is less efficient for frequent or partial data updates.
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The use of electrical signals to erase and rewrite data in EEPROMs makes them suitable for applications where data needs to be updated regularly, such as in BIOS chips. EPROMs, needing special equipment for data erasure, are better suited for stable data storage.
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EEPROMs have a higher cost per bit compared to EPROMs due to their more complex manufacturing process. However, this cost is often justified by the added convenience of electrical erasure and reprogramming.
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The lifetime of an EEPROM is defined by the number of erase/write cycles it can undergo, typically around 100,000 cycles, while EPROMs have a longer lifespan but are limited by the need for UV light to erase data.
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Comparison Chart

Method of Erasure

Electrically erasable
Erased with UV light
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Flexibility

Can erase and reprogram specific bytes
Entire chip must be erased at once
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Typical Applications

Frequently updated data storage
Stable, infrequently changed data storage
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Cost

Higher cost per bit
Lower cost per bit
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Erase/Write Cycle Lifespan

Around 100,000 cycles
Longer lifespan, limited by UV exposure
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EEPROM and EPROM Definitions

EEPROM

EEPROM technology enables data modification in hardware without physical intervention.
The EEPROM allowed us to change the machine's configuration remotely.
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EPROM

EPROM retains data without power and requires special equipment for data erasure.
We need a UV eraser to wipe this EPROM before reprogramming it.
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EEPROM

EEPROM allows selective erasing and rewriting of data without removing the chip from its circuit.
The device's settings are stored in an EEPROM for easy updates.
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EPROM

EPROM is used in applications where data does not need frequent updating.
The control program is stored in an EPROM.
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EEPROM

EEPROM is a type of memory chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.
We updated the firmware stored on the EEPROM.
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EPROM

EPROM technology is foundational in the development of programmable devices.
Early computers often used EPROM chips for firmware.
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EEPROM

EEPROM stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, offering flexible data storage.
Our system's calibration data is stored in an EEPROM for easy adjustments.
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EPROM

EPROM stands for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, used for stable data storage.
The EPROM contains the boot instructions for the system.
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EEPROM

EEPROM is used for storing small amounts of data that must be saved when power is off.
BIOS settings are often stored in an EEPROM.
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EPROM

EPROM is a memory chip that can be erased by UV light and reprogrammed.
The old arcade game uses an EPROM for storing its software.
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EPROM

A programmable ROM that can be erased by exposure to ultraviolet light and then reprogrammed.
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EPROM

(computer science) a read-only memory chip that can be erased by ultraviolet light and programmed again with new data
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is data erased in EEPROM?

Through electrical signals.
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How is data erased from an EPROM?

Using ultraviolet (UV) light.
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What is a common use of EEPROM?

Storing BIOS or firmware in computers.
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What does EPROM stand for?

Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory.
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Can EEPROM be reprogrammed?

Yes, it can be erased and reprogrammed multiple times.
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How does EEPROM differ from regular ROM?

It can be erased and rewritten electrically.
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What does EEPROM stand for?

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory.
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Is EPROM still widely used today?

It's less common now, replaced by more advanced technologies.
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What is a characteristic feature of EPROM?

It retains data without power.
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How many times can EEPROM be rewritten?

Typically around 100,000 erase/write cycles.
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Can EPROM be reprogrammed?

Yes, after erasing it with UV light.
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Can EEPROM and EPROM be used interchangeably?

Not usually, as they have different characteristics and applications.
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Is EEPROM faster than EPROM?

Yes, especially in terms of data erasure and rewriting.
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Can EPROM be erased and reprogrammed in-circuit?

No, it usually needs to be removed for UV erasure.
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What is the physical difference in appearance between EEPROM and EPROM?

EPROM typically has a transparent window for UV erasure.
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Are EEPROM chips more expensive than EPROM?

Generally, yes, due to their more complex design.
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Is special equipment needed for EEPROM erasure?

No, it's erased electrically without special equipment.
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How does EPROM retain data?

Through a charge stored in a floating gate.
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How do environmental factors affect EEPROM and EPROM?

EPROM can be sensitive to light; EEPROM is more robust.
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What type of data is best stored on EPROM?

Data that does not require frequent updates.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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