A programmable read-only memory (PROM) is a form of digital memory where the setting of each bit is locked by a fuse or antifuse. It is one type of ROM (read-only memory). The data in them is permanent and cannot be changed. PROMs are used in digital electronic devices to store permanent data, usually low level programs such as firmware or microcode. The key difference from a standard ROM is that the data is written into a ROM during manufacture, while with a PROM the data is programmed into them after manufacture. Thus, ROMs tend to be used only for large production runs with well-verified data, while PROMs are used to allow companies to test on a subset of the devices in an order before burning data into all of them.
PROMs are manufactured blank and, depending on the technology, can be programmed at wafer, final test, or in system. Blank PROM chips are programmed by plugging them into a device called a PROM programmer. The availability of this technology allows companies to keep a supply of blank PROMs in stock, and program them at the last minute to avoid large volume commitment. These types of memories are frequently used in microcontrollers, video game consoles, mobile phones, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, implantable medical devices, high-definition multimedia interfaces (HDMI) and in many other consumer and automotive electronics products.