1) Masked Read Only Memory (MROM):
It is the oldest type of read only memory (ROM). It has become obsolete so it is not used anywhere in today’s world. It is a hardware memory device in which programs and instructions are stored at the time of manufacturing by the manufacturer. So it is programmed during the manufacturing process and can’t be modified, reprogrammed, or erased later.
The MROM chips are made of integrated circuits. Chips send a current through a particular input-output pathway determined by the location of fuses among the rows and columns on the chip. The current has to pass along a fuse-enabled path, so it can return only via the output the manufacturer chooses. This is the reason the rewriting and any other modification is not impossible in this memory.
2) Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM):
PROM is a blank version of ROM. It is manufactured as blank memory and programmed after manufacturing. We can say that it is kept blank at the time of manufacturing. You can purchase and then program it once using a special tool called a programmer.
In the chip, the current travels through all possible pathways. The programmer can choose one particular path for the current by burning unwanted fuses by sending a high voltage through them. The user has the opportunity to program it or to add data and instructions as per his requirement. Due to this reason, it is also known as the user-programmed ROM as a user can program it.
To write data onto a PROM chip; a device called PROM programmer or PROM burner is used. The process or programming a PROM is known as burning the PROM. Once it is programmed, the data cannot be modified later, so it is also called as one-time programmable device.
Uses: It is used in cell phones, video game consoles, medical devices, RFID tags, and more.
3) Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM):
EPROM is a type of ROM that can be reprogramed and erased many times. The method to erase the data is very different; it comes with a quartz window through which a specific frequency of ultraviolet light is passed for around 40 minutes to erase the data. So, it retains its content until it is exposed to the ultraviolet light. You need a special device called a PROM programmer or PROM burner to reprogram the EPROM.
Uses: It is used in some micro-controllers to store program, e.g., some versions of Intel 8048 and the Freescale 68HC11.
4) Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM):
ROM is a type of read only memory that can be erased and reprogrammed repeatedly, up to 10000 times. It is also known as Flash EEPROM as it is similar to flash memory. It is erased and reprogrammed electrically without using ultraviolet light. Access time is between 45 and 200 nanoseconds.
The data in this memory is written or erased one byte at a time; byte per byte, whereas, in flash memory data is written and erased in blocks. So, it is faster than EEPROM. It is used for storing a small amount of data in computer and electronic systems and devices such as circuit boards.
Uses: The BIOS of a computer is stored in this memory.
5) FLASH ROM:
It is an advanced version of EEPROM. It stores information in an arrangement or array of memory cells made from floating-gate transistors. The advantage of using this memory is that you can delete or write blocks of data around 512 bytes at a particular time. Whereas, in EEPROM, you can delete or write only 1 byte of data at a time. So, this memory is faster than EEPROM.
It can be reprogrammed without removing it from the computer. Its access time is very high, around 45 to 90 nanoseconds. It is also highly durable as it can bear high temperature and intense pressure.
Uses: It is used for storage and transferring data between a personal computer and digital devices. It is used in USB flash drives, MP3 players, digital cameras, modems and solid-state drives (SSDs). The BIOS of many modern computers are stored on a flash memory chip, called flash BIOS.