Difference Between
versus

PROM vs. EPROM: Know the Difference

Hifza Nasir
By Hifza Nasir & Shumaila Saeed || Published on March 4, 2024
PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory) is write-once memory; data is permanent. EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) can be erased with UV light and reprogrammed.
PROM vs. EPROM

Key Differences

PROM, or Programmable Read-Only Memory, is a type of non-volatile memory where data is written once and becomes permanent; the process is known as "burning" or "programming." It's used in applications where the need for data storage is permanent and unchanging, such as in firmware. EPROM, or Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, on the other hand, introduces flexibility to the programming process. Data stored in EPROM can be erased by exposing the chip to ultraviolet (UV) light for a certain period, after which it can be reprogrammed. This erasable feature makes EPROM suitable for development, testing, and updating firmware where changes might be needed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
One key distinction between the two is their approach to data permanence and reusability. PROM is designed for a single-use scenario where the integrity and permanence of the data are critical. In contrast, EPROM provides a reusability feature that is invaluable during the development phase of a project, allowing developers to test and modify their code.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
The physical appearance of EPROM is distinctive, with a transparent quartz window on top of the chip, which allows the UV light to penetrate and erase the data. PROM chips lack this window since they are not designed to be erased. This window is not only a physical differentiator but also a symbol of the fundamental difference in the use of the two types of memories.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
PROM is often found in older or more traditional devices where the programming is known to be static and unchanging, such as in simple electronic devices or older computer BIOS systems. EPROM, while still used in similar contexts, is more aligned with environments that require periodic updates or where the development cycle includes testing and iteration, such as in prototype electronics or early-stage software/hardware integration.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
Despite the advantages of reusability offered by EPROM, the advent of Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) and Flash memory has led to a decline in the use of both PROM and EPROM. These newer technologies allow for data to be erased and rewritten without the need for UV light, providing even greater flexibility and convenience.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 04, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Data Permanence

Permanent; cannot be erased
Can be erased with UV light
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Programming

Write once
Can be erased and reprogrammed multiple times
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Physical Characteristic

No transparent window
Transparent quartz window for UV erasure
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Use Cases

Applications requiring permanent data storage
Development, testing, and environments requiring data updates
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Flexibility

None; data is permanent after programming
High; data can be erased and updated as needed
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Technology Era

Predominantly older, legacy systems
Used before the widespread adoption of EEPROM and Flash memory
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Reusability

Single-use
Reusable after erasure
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 04, 2024

PROM and EPROM Definitions

PROM

A non-volatile memory chip where data, once written, is permanent.
Storing the firmware in a microwave oven that doesn't require updates.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

EPROM

A type of memory chip that can be erased using UV light and reprogrammed.
Prototyping electronic circuits where code frequently changes.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 26, 2024

PROM

Used for permanent storage of program code.
Basic input/output system (BIOS) settings in early computers.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 26, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

EPROM

Features a quartz window through which UV light erases data.
Testing and development phases of embedded system design.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

PROM

Ideal for applications where data integrity and permanence are crucial.
Code storage in calculators.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Feb 26, 2024

EPROM

Allows for iterative testing and updating of stored data.
Updating the firmware in legacy computer systems.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Feb 26, 2024

PROM

Programming is irreversible, preventing accidental data loss.
Embedded systems in industrial machinery.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

EPROM

Reusability makes it adaptable for evolving project requirements.
Aerospace applications where software updates are critical.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 26, 2024

PROM

Suited for mass-produced items with fixed functionalities.
Electronic toys with pre-programmed sounds or actions.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Feb 26, 2024

EPROM

Used in environments where flexibility and data updation are key.
Experimental labs testing different firmware versions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

PROM

A kind of read-only memory whose contents can be set after manufacture, but only once.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Jan 25, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How can data in an EPROM be erased?

Data in an EPROM can be erased by exposing the chip to ultraviolet light through its quartz window, usually for a specified duration.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

What is PROM used for?

PROM is used for storing data permanently in applications where the information does not need to be changed, such as in firmware for various electronic devices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

What makes EPROM suitable for development and testing?

EPROM's ability to be erased and reprogrammed makes it highly suitable for iterative development processes, allowing for testing and modification of code.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Can EPROM be used for permanent data storage?

While EPROM can be used for permanent data storage, its real advantage is in its reusability, making it more suitable for situations where data may need to be updated.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

What has replaced PROM and EPROM in modern applications?

EEPROM and Flash memory have largely replaced PROM and EPROM, offering electric erasure and reprogramming capabilities without the need for UV light.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 04, 2024

How does the programming process differ between PROM and EPROM?

PROM is programmed using a special device that 'burns' the data into the chip, making it permanent. EPROM is programmed in a similar way but can be erased and reprogrammed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

How does the physical appearance of PROM and EPROM differ?

EPROM chips have a distinctive transparent quartz window on top for UV erasure, while PROM chips do not have such a window due to their permanent programming nature.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Are PROM chips reusable?

No, PROM chips are designed for a single use; once programmed, the data becomes permanent and cannot be altered or erased.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Is there a way to protect EPROM from accidental erasure?

EPROMs are typically covered with a sticker or label to protect the quartz window from accidental exposure to UV light, preventing unintended erasure.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

What are the environmental considerations for using EPROM?

Since EPROM requires UV light for data erasure, proper handling and protection against accidental UV exposure are important to maintain data integrity.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Hifza Nasir
Written by
Hifza Nasir
Shumaila Saeed
Co-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.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
4D Battery vs. 8D Battery4D Battery vs. 8D Battery
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 7, 2024
4D batteries are smaller, heavy-duty batteries used in commercial applications, whereas 8D batteries are larger, providing more power and capacity for large vehicles and machinery.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.
Class 2 Hitch vs. Class 3 HitchClass 2 Hitch vs. Class 3 Hitch
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 20, 2024
A Class 2 Hitch supports lighter loads up to 3,500 lbs with a 1.25-inch receiver, while a Class 3 Hitch handles heavier loads up to 8,000 lbs with a 2-inch receiver.
Char vs. VarcharChar vs. Varchar
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 23, 2024
Char stores fixed-length strings; efficient for known sizes. Varchar stores variable-length strings, saving space for shorter inputs.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons