ROM, or Read-Only Memory, is an integrated-circuit (IC) memory chip. ROM contains configuration data which is required by computers to run and perform standard tasks. There is structured programming embedded in a ROM chip. It may therefore be considered as a combination of hardware and software.
ROM has permanent data which cannot be modified or deleted. This is because the data within a ROM chip is incorporated while it is being manufactured. As a result, ROM has fully-secured data. However, since ROM data is stored during the manufacturing process, an error in this stage will render the chip unusable. Developers of ROM address this issue by creating templates that simplify the process of making ROM and lessen the possibility of errors.
ROM is non-volatile. This means that the data within a ROM chip is retained even when power is lost or turned off. This further adds to the security and reliability of the data within ROM.
ROM is often associated with RAM, or Random Access Memory. This is because these two components provide the user with access to stored data. However, the data within RAM is lost when there is no power. Hence, RAM is appropriate for short-term memory. On the other hand, ROM provides long-term memory due to its non-volatile characteristic and because it has data that has been permanently etched into it.
The ROM chip consists of rows and columns. These rows and columns form a matrix of cells. Each cell has a value of either 0 or 1. The manufacturer of the ROM chip determines the value of each cell during the chip’s production. Finally, a diode is attached. This component manages the flow of electric current in each cell.