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I am currently doing testing on a product. The pcb consists of an EEPROM IC AT93C46. I connected the Oscilloscope probe to the Chip select pin, Clock, Data In and Data Out. From referring the wave forms with the data sheet, I came to a conclusion that, the Microcontroller accesses the EEPROM IC every 500ms. I read the application notes for the EEPROM IC. It has been mentioned that write operation deteriorates the IC's performance. What about read cycle?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You will wear it out. Check the datasheet. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Sep 19 '16 at 5:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Never heard of an EEPROM with limited read cycles. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Voigt
    Sep 19 '16 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenVoigt, are you suggesting that continuous read operation performed on the IC wont affect its lifetime and reliability? \$\endgroup\$
    – santhosh
    Sep 19 '16 at 6:22
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Read cycles on the 93C46 are not limited at all.

There exist some EEPROM type devices that are poorly designed and require a refresh after many read cycles, as well as FRAMS which are also limited, but not these serial EEPROMs.

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Read operations do not wear out the EEPROM (only write/erase endurance is specified in datasheets). You can do as many reads as you wish.

Reading it very often would suggest some "sub-optimal" software of the microcontroller. My usual approach to data that is used often is to copy that to RAM at startup, because any kind of outside access is painfully slow from the point of view of the MCU.

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