TECH 101: ROM (read-only memory)
Read-only memory, or ROM, is a type of computer storage containing non-volatile, permanent data that, normally, can only be read, not written to. ROM contains the programming that allows a computer to start up or regenerate each time it is turned on. ROM also performs large input/output (I/O) tasks and protects programs or software instructions. Once data is written on a ROM chip, it cannot be removed. ROM is also utilized in video game consoles, allowing one system to run various games. Additionally, ROM is used in optical storage, including different kinds of compact discs (CD) -- such as CD-ROM and CD-RW. ROM is also used frequently in calculators and peripheral devices like laser printers, whose fonts are commonly stored in ROM.