Difference Between EEPROM and Flash (With Table)

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Different types of memory storage are used for various applications according to their easy availability, speed, ease of use, etc. For example, flash-type memory is used when a large amount of data is involved and it can be easily rewritten. But, EEPROM is more popular when a faster memory type is required where data can be accessed byte-wise. So, this variety of memories are integrated into devices according to their purpose. 

EEPROM vs Flash

The difference between EEPROM and flash memory is that EEPROM is a kind of flash that uses NOR-type logic gates to store data. Thus, it is faster but expensive at the same time. On the other hand, flash uses NAND-type logic gates to store data but it is comparatively less expensive and extensively used in storage devices like flash drives, SD cards, digital cameras, etc. 

EEPROM is the abbreviation for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. It is used when a small amount of data needs to be stored especially in microcontrollers of electronic devices. EEPROM can access and delete data byte-wise and it is mainly used in systems where rewriting the code doesn’t take place very often. 

Flash memory, also known as flash storage defines a data writing and storing technology in which flash memory chips are used. The applications of flash are diverse as they can be used in small storage devices like flash drives to enterprise-level systems. Flash memory is superior to any other kind of hard drive with moving components because it has very low latency and the data is not lost when the system is switched off. 

Comparison Table Between EEPROM and Flash

Parameters of ComparisonEEPROMFlash
Memory TypeEEPROM uses NOR-type memory (a combination of Not and OR) to store data. Flash uses NAND-type memory (a combination of Not and AND) to store data. 
OrderEEPROM is defined as an offspring of Flash. Flash memory is the parent of EEPROM. 
ApplicationsEEPROM is mostly used in computers, microcontrollers for smart cards, etc. to store a smaller amount of data. Flash memory is widely used in storage devices like USB flash drives, SD cards, tablets, etc, and also in storage and networking technology. 
Erasing DataIn the case of EEPROM, access and deletion of byte-wise data are possible.Flash memory allows accessing and deleting data block-wise which makes it a bit slower. 
RewritingIn EEPROM, the data is seldom rewritten. In flash, the data is rewritten very often.  
AffordabilityEEPROM is very expensive as compared to Flash because of NOR-type memory. Flash uses NAND-type memory which is less expensive than NOR-type.

What is EEPROM?

 EEPROM is a type of non-volatile flash memory that used a NOR-type storage system for reading, writing, and storing data. EEPROM is known for its excellent performance and very fast response but at the same time, it is much more expensive than other types of flash memory. 

One doesn’t have to take the EEPROM out of the computer system when there is a need for rewriting or deletion of data. The biggest advantage of EEPROM is it can access and delete data in a byte-wise manner which makes the extraction time a lot less. One of the most commonly used EEPROM chips is the 24CXX series which contains several models under it. 

The common features of EEPROM are its low voltage operation (1.8V, 2.7V, 5V), filtering out inputs for noise suppression, use of two wires for reading and writing data, bidirectional data transfer protocol, etc. EEPROM has several applications in the telecom and automotive sector. 

What is Flash?

 Flash memory or flash storage uses flash memory chips for storing data. This type of storage allows rewriting and deletion of data but in a block-wise manner that slows down the process of data extraction. Flash memory uses a NAND-type storage system and it is more affordable than EEPROM. It has a non-volatile memory and it means even after the system is turned off it retains the data.

There are several types of flash storage. Some of them are storage array, SSD flash drive, all-flash array, NVMe storage, hybrid flash storage, etc. All these types of flash storage have an advantage over the hard disk drive (HDD) because the former doesn’t have latency and thus the response time is very fast. 

The introduction of flash memory in the IT sector has made data storage more economical. This is because flash memory can store a large amount of data and when installed it also improves the performance of the system. 

Main Differences Between EEPROM and Flash

  1. EEPROM uses NOR-type memory (a combination of Not and OR) to store data whereas flash uses NAND-type memory (a combination of Not and AND) to store data. 
  2. EEPROMs are a type of flash memory but not vice versa.
  3. EEPROM is mostly used in computers, microcontrollers for smart cards, etc. On the other hand, flash memory is widely used in storage devices like USB flash drives, SD cards, tablets, etc, and also in storage and networking technology. 
  4. In the case of EEPROM, access and deletion of byte-wise data are possible whereas flash memory allows block-wise deletion of data.
  5. In EEPROM, the data is seldom rewritten whereas data is rewritten constantly in flash.
  6. EEPROM is very expensive as compared to Flash because it used NOR-type memory whereas flash is less costly because it uses NAND-type memory. 

Conclusion

EEPROM and flash memory both are very advanced level data storage systems. Flash memory has a very high response time and can store a large amount of data (used in data centers). EEPROM is a type of flash memory, hence it is also fast and has the advantage of accessing and changing any code byte-wise. While rewriting or deleting data, EEPROM accesses the data byte-wise whereas flash can access it only block-wise. 

EEPROM is widely used in computer systems and microcontrollers where a small amount of data is stored. It is also used in a case where code is changed seldom unlike flash memory which is admirable for systems with very often changes in code.  The cost of flash memory is much less than that of EEPROM. 

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1485793/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1199079/
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