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From NintendoWiki, your source on Nintendo information. By fans, for fans.
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The ROM (Read-Only Memory) refers to a form of computer and electronic memory/storage, which may be found on a physical chip. As the name suggests, it is designed to be read from but not overwritten, unlike other chips such as RAM. A copy of the contents of the ROM in a file is known as the ROM image.

A variation known as an EEPROM is used in development to electrically erase the ROM, including Nintendo development cartridges. Furthermore, the later the console Flash memory has proven to be effective for larger games which last longer, like for the Nintendo DS Game Card.

A ROM chip has widely been used for the production of video games in general, in particular Nintendo are known for sticking with a regular cartridge containing a ROM chip (such as in their Game Pak) for a relatively long time (until the Nintendo GameCube and earlier more obscure mediums) but another popular format is a disc as well as flash memory. While a disc makes use of read-only memory, a copy of its data may rather be known as an ISO.


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Nintendo uses the main ROM chip (designed for storage of the data and code of the game or software) along other chips or parts, such as RAM, a RAM protector, a cell battery (external RAM) and occasionally their own proprietary chips (otherwise chips attributed to other game companies) within the cartridge, like the Super FX chip in some Super Nintendo Entertainment System games, to run on a game console/platform.