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EEPROM also E 2 PROM stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory and is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers, integrated in microcontrollers for smart cards and remote keyless systemand other electronic devices to store relatively small amounts of data but allowing individual bytes to be erased and reprogrammed.
Flash memory is a type of EEPROM designed for high speed and high density, at the expense of large erase blocks typically bytes or larger and limited number of write cycles often 10, There is no clear boundary dividing the two, but the term “EEPROM” is generally used to describe non-volatile memory with small erase blocks as small as one byte and a long lifetime typically 1, cycles.
Many microcontrollers include both: In early s, some studies, inventionsand development for electrically re-programmable non-volatile memories were performed by various companies and organizations.
One of their research includes MONOS metal – oxide – nitride -oxide- semiconductor technology,  which is used Renesas Electronics ‘ flash memory integrated in single-chip microcontrollers until today.
Inone of electrically re-programmable non-volatile memory was invented by Fujio Masuoka at Toshiba, who is also known as the inventor of flash memory. The theoretical basis of these devices is Avalanche hot-carrier injection.
In Maysome important research result was disclosed by Fairchild and Siemens. As is described in former section, old EEPROMs are based on Avalanche breakdown -based hot-carrier injection with high reverse breakdown voltage. But FLOTOX’ s theoretical basis is Fowler—Nordheim tunneling hot-carrier injection through a thin silicon dioxide layer between the floating-gate and the substrate.
In other words, it uses tunnel junction mechanism. Theoretical basis of the physical phenomenon itself is the same as today’s flash memory. But each FLOTOX structure is in conjunction with another read-control transistor because the floating gate itself is just programming and erasing one data bit. EEPROM still requires 2 transistors structure per bit to erase a dedicated byte in the memory, while flash memory has 1 transistor per bit to erase a region of the memory.
EEPROM, slightly O.T.
These use from 1 to 4 device pins and allow devices to use packages with 8-pins or less. Most devices have chip select and write protect pins. EEPROM memory is used to enable features in other types of products that are not strictly memory products.
Products such as real-time clocksdigital potentiometersdigital temperature sensorsamong others, may have small amounts of EEPROM to store calibration information or other data that needs to be available in the event of power loss.
It was also used on video game cartridges to save game progress and configurations, before the usage of external and internal flash memories.
During rewrites, the gate oxide in the floating-gate transistors gradually accumulates trapped electrons.
AT28C16 Datasheet pdf – 16K EEPROM – Atmel
The electric field of the trapped electrons adds to the electrons in the floating gate, lowering the window between threshold voltages for zeros vs ones.
After sufficient number of rewrite cycles, the difference becomes too small to be recognizable, the cell is stuck in programmed state, and endurance failure occurs. The manufacturers usually specify the maximum number of rewrites being 1 million or more. During storage, the electrons injected into the floating gate may drift through the insulator, especially at increased temperature, and cause charge loss, reverting the cell into erased state.
The manufacturers usually guarantee data retention of 10 years or more. In the industry, there is a convention to reserve the term EEPROM to byte-wise erasable memories compared to block-wise erasable flash memories. EEPROM can be programmed and erased electrically using field electron emission more commonly known in the industry as “Fowler—Nordheim tunneling”. EPROMs can’t be erased electrically and are programmed via hot carrier injection onto the floating gate.
Erase is via an ultraviolet light source, although in practice many EPROMs are encapsulated in plastic that is opaque to UV light, making them “one-time programmable”.
Most NOR flash memory is a hybrid style—programming is through hot carrier injection and erase is through Fowler—Nordheim tunneling. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Japan Society of Applied Physics: Archived from the original on Archived PDF from the original on United States Patent and Trademark Office. Siemens Forschungs und Entwicklungsberichte. Managing Global Technology in the 21st century.
Archived from the original on 3 May Electronic Inventions and Discoveries: Digest of Technical Papers.
Archived from the original on September 29, Microelectronic Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology. Basics of Nonvolatile Semiconductor Memory Devices.