(Computer science) Memory whose contents can be accessed and read but cannot be changed; SYN. ROM, read-only storage, fixed storage.
1. Acronym for read-only memory. A semiconductor circuit into which code or data is permanently installed by the manufacturing process. The use of this technology is economically viable only if the chips are produced in large quantities; experimental designs or small volumes are best handled using PROM or EPROM.
2. Acronym for read-only memory. Any semiconductor circuit serving as a memory that contains instructions or data that can be read but not modified (whether placed there by manufacturing or by a programming process, as in PROM and EPROM). See also EEPROM, EPROM, PROM.
(acronym for read-only memory) In computing, a memory device in the form of a collection of integrated circuits (chips), frequently used in microcomputers. ROM chips are loaded with data and programs during manufacture and, unlike RAM (random-access memory) chips, can subsequently only be read, not written to, by computer. However, the contents of the chips are not lost when the power is switched off, as happens in RAM.
ROM is used to form a computer's permanent store of vital information, or of programs that must be readily available but protected from accidental or deliberate change by a user. For example, a microcomputer operating system is often held in ROM memory.