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EPROM is read and written electrically; before a write operation, all the storage cells must be erased to the same initial state by exposure of the packaged chip to ultraviolet radiation. Erasure is performed by shining an intense ultraviolet light through a window that is designed into the memory chip. EEPROM is a read mostly memory that can be written into at any time without erasing prior contents; only the byte or bytes addressed are updated. Flash memory is intermediate between EPROM and EEPROM in both cost and functionality. Like EEPROM, flash memory uses an electrical erasing technology. An entire flash memory can be erased in one or a few seconds, which is much faster than EPROM. In addition, it is possible to erase just blocks of memory rather than an entire chip. However, flash memory does not provide byte-level erasure. Like EPROM, flash memory uses only one transistor per bit, and so achieves the high density (compared with EEPROM) of EPROM.

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