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ROM - read-only memory

Pronounced rahm, acronym for read-only memory, computer memory on which data has been prerecorded. Once data
has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.
Unlike main memory (RAM), ROM retains its contents even when the computer is turned off. ROM is referred to as
being nonvolatile, whereas RAM is volatile.
Most personal computers contain a small amount of ROM that stores critical programs such as the program that boots the
computer. In addition, ROMs are used extensively in calculators and peripheral devices such as laser printers,
whose fonts are often stored in ROMs.
Read-only memory (ROM), also known as firmware, is an integrated circuit programmed with specific data when it is
manufactured
There are five basic ROM types:
ROM
PROM
EPROM
EEPROM
Flash memory
Each type has unique characteristics, which you'll learn about in this article, but they are all types of memory with two
things in common:
Data stored in these chips is nonvolatile -- it is not lost when power is removed.
Data stored in these chips is either unchangeable or requires a special operation to change (unlike RAM, which can be
changed as easily as it is read).
This means that removing the power source from the chip will not cause it to lose any data
Short for Read-Only Memory, ROM is a type of
"built-in" memory that is capable of holding data and
having that data read from the chip, but not written
to.
A good example of ROM is EEPROM, which is a
programmable ROM used for the computer BIOS, as
shown in the above picture.
Tip: The term ROM is used to describe any type of
memory or media that is read only. For example,
a CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) is a
disc that can only be read from and a drive only
capable of reading.
RAM - random access memory
RAM (pronounced ramm) is an acronym for random accessmemory, a type of computer memory that can
be accessedrandomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the
most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.
Types of RAM
There are two different types of RAM:
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
SRAM (Static Random Access Memory).
The two types of RAM differ in the technology they use to hold data, with DRAM being the more common type. In terms of
speed, SRAM is faster. DRAM needs to be refreshed thousands of times per second while SRAM does not need to be
refreshed, which is what makes it faster than DRAM.
DRAM supports access times of about 60 nanoseconds, SRAM can give access times as low as 10 nanoseconds.
Despite SRAM being faster, it's not as commonly used as DRAM because it's so much more expensive. Both types of
RAM are volatile, meaning that they lose their contents when the power is turned off.
RAM, Main Memory and ROM Explained
In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main memory, the memory available to programs. For example, a
computer with 8MB RAM has approximately 8 million bytes of memory that programs can use. In contrast, ROM (read-
only memory) refers to special memory used to store programs that boot the computer and perform diagnostics.
Most personal computers have a small amount of ROM (a few thousand bytes). In fact, both types of memory (ROM and
RAM) allow random access. To be precise, therefore, RAM should be referred to as read/write RAM and ROM as read-
only RAM.
RAM (random access memory) is the place in a computer where the
operating system, application programs, and data in current use are
kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's
processor.
RAM
Alternatively referred to as main memory, primary memory, or system memory,
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a computer storage location that allows information to
be stored and accessed quickly from random locations within DRAM on a memory module.
Because information is accessed randomly instead of sequentially like a CD or hard drive the
computer can access the data much faster than it would if it was only reading the hard
drive. However, unlike ROM and the hard drive RAM is a volatile memory and requires power
in order to keep the data accessible, if power is lost all data contained in memory lost.
As the computer loads parts of the operating system and drivers are loaded into memory,
which allows the CPU to process the instructions much faster and your computer to load
faster. After the operating system has loaded, each program you open such as the browser
you're using to view this page is loaded into memory while it is running. If too many
programs are open the computer will swap the data in the memory between the RAM and
the hard disk drive.
Over the evolution of computers there has been a different variation of RAM used in
computer. Some of the more common examples are DIMM, RIMM, SIMM, SO-DIMM, and
SOO-RIMM. Below is an example image of a 512MB DIMM computer memory module and
what the typical desktop computer
memory card will look like. This memory
module would be installed into memory
slots on the motherboard.

Tip: New users often confuse memory
(RAM) with disk drive space. See
our memory definition for a comparison
between memory and storage.

PROM
Creating ROM chips totally from scratch is time-consuming and very expensive in small quantities. For this
reason, mainly, developers created a type of ROM known as programmable read-only memory (PROM).
Blank PROM chips can be bought inexpensively and coded by anyone with a special tool called a
programmer.
PROM chips (Figure 2) have a grid of columns and rows just as ordinary ROMs do. The difference is that every
intersection of a column and row in a PROM chip has a fuse connecting them. A charge sent through a column
will pass through the fuse in a cell to a grounded row indicating a value of 1. Since all the cells have a fuse, the
initial (blank) state of a PROM chip is all 1s. To change the value of a cell to 0, you use a programmer to send
a specific amount of current to the cell. The higher voltage breaks the connection between the column and row
by burning out the fuse. This process is known as burning the PROM.
PROMs can only be programmed once. They are more fragile than ROMs. A jolt of static electricity can easily
cause fuses in the PROM to burn out, changing essential bits from 1 to 0. But blank PROMs are inexpensive
and are great for prototyping the data for a ROM before committing to the costly ROM fabrication process.
Programmable ROM
Alternatively referred to as a FPROM (field programmable read-only memory)
or OTP(one-time programmable) chip, PROM or Programmable ROM is short for
Programmable Read Only Memory and is a computer memory chip first developed by
Wen Tsing Chow in 1956 that is capable of being programmed once after it has been
created. Once the PROM has been programmed, the information written is permanent
and cannot be erased or deleted. A good example of a PROM in a computer is
the computer BIOS in early computers.
When the PROM is created it ships with all bits reading as "1" and during the
programming any bit that needs to be changed to a
0 is etched or burned into the chip using a device
known as a gang programmer. Below is an
example of a gang programmer from Advin that
programs multiple ROM chips at one time.
If a PROM has been programmed and has an error or
needs updated the chip is discarded and a new
PROM is created and replaces the old chip. A
variation of the PROM is an EPROM, which is a PROM
that can be erased and re-programmed without
being replaced.
EPROM
Short for Eras able Programmable Read-Only Memory,
ERPOM is a memory chip that was invented by Dov
Frohman in1971 while at Intel that can only be read. If
exposed to ultraviolet light an EPROM can be reprogrammed
if needed, but otherwise does not accept or save any new
data. Hardware manufactures use EPROM when it may be
needed that the data contained on the EPROM needs to be
changed. An EPROM chip is distinguishable by a small quartz
crystal (not glass) circle window that exposes the chip so that
can be reprogrammed. In the picture shown on this page is an example of an Intel 8048
made by NEC and is an example of an EPROM chip.
Today, EPROM chips are not used in computers and have been replaced
by EEPROM chips.
EEPROM
Short for Electrically Eras able Programmable
Read-Only Memory, EEPROM is a PROM that can be
erased and reprogrammed using an electrical charge
that was developed by George Perlegos while
at Intel in 1978. Unlike most memory inside a computer,
this memory remembers data when the power is turned
off.
EEPROM was a replacement for PROM and EPROM chips
and is used for later computer's BIOS that were built after 1994. Having a computer
with an EEPROM allows a computer user to update the BIOS in their computer without
having to open the computer or remove any chips.
What is a computer virus?
Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere
with computer operation.
A computer virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs
against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are man-made. A simple virus that can
make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it
will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable
of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.
Since 1987, when a virus infected ARPANET, a large network used by the Defense Department and many universities,
many antivirus programs have become available. These programs periodically check your computer system for the best-
known types of viruses.
Some people distinguish between general viruses and worms. A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself
and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.
What do computer viruses do?
Through the course of using the Internet and your computer, you may have come in to contact with computer viruses.
Many computer viruses are stopped before they can start, but there is still an ever growing concern as to what do
computer viruses do and the list of common computer virus symptoms. A computer virus might corrupt or delete data on
your computer, use your email program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.
Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in email messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is
essential that you never open email attachments unless you know who it's from and you are expecting it.
Viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files.
Computer viruses also spread through downloads on the Internet. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or
programs you might download.
To help avoid computer viruses, it's essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates and antivirus
tools, stay informed about recent threats, run your computer as a standard user (not as administrator), and that you follow
a few basic rules when you surf the Internet, download files, and open attachments.
Once a virus is on your computer, its type or the method it used to get there is not as important as removing it and
preventing further infection.
Virus protection
Virus protection software is designed to prevent viruses, worms and Trojan horses from getting onto a computer as
well as remove any malicious software code that has already infected a computer.
Most virus protection utilities now bundle anti-spyware and anti-malware capabilities to go along with anti-virus protection.
Internet security suites go a step further by including additional capabilities like anti-spam, anti-phishing, firewall, file
protection and PC optimization.

Virus name Spreading Damage Discovered
Exploit.CVE-2014-1761.Gen VERY LOW MEDIUM 2014 Apr 01
JS:Exploit.CVE-2014-0322.B VERY LOW VERY LOW 2014 Feb 15
JS:Exploit.CVE-2014-0322.A VERY LOW VERY LOW 2014 Feb 15
Exploit.CVE-2013-5065.A VERY LOW LOW 2013 Nov 28
PDF:Exploit.CVE-2013-5065.A VERY LOW LOW 2013 Nov 28
Rootkit.Sirefef.Gen MEDIUM HIGH 2012 Nov 21
Rootkit.MBR.TDSS MEDIUM MEDIUM 2012 Nov 04
Trojan.FakeAV VERY LOW VERY LOW 2012 Sep 22
Trojan.Startpage.AABI VERY LOW VERY LOW 2012 Aug 14
Trojan.OlympicGames VERY LOW VERY LOW 2012 Aug 14
Trojan.Flame.A MEDIUM VERY HIGH 2012 May 28
Trojan.Ransom.IcePol MEDIUM HIGH 2012 Mar 20
Exploit.CVE-2011-3402.Gen VERY LOW LOW 2011 Nov 07
Backdoor.IRCBot.Dorkbot.A MEDIUM MEDIUM 2011 May 15
Backdoor.Lavandos.A MEDIUM HIGH 2011 Jan 06
Trojan.Android.Geinimi.A VERY LOW HIGH 2011 Jan 03
Java.Trojan.Downloader.OpenConnection.AI HIGH MEDIUM 2010 Nov 12
Java.Backdoor.ReverseBackdoor.A LOW MEDIUM 2010 Nov 12
Win32.Ramnit.G VERY LOW VERY LOW 2010 Oct 28
Trojan.Spy.Ursnif.F MEDIUM HIGH 2010 Oct 20