The first 2716 EPROM was launched in October 1977 by Texas Instruments.
An EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) can be programmed and then erased enabling it to be re-used about 1000 times. Programming is accomplished through a device called Eprom programmer (or EPROM burner), erasure uses an Ultra Violet light source that shines through a quartz erasing window.
At the time, EPROM's were widely used to store boot-up programs in small systems or saving user's programs in computers that didn't featured tape recorder or floppy drive interface.
Two types of EPROM chip were already used in 1977: 2704 (512 bytes) and 2708 (1 KB), but then users and computer manufacturers were requiring higher capacity chips. So came the 2716, wich was able to store 2 KB.
The first TMS 2716 is actually a rarity because the chip needed 3 different voltages to run it, which was different than the 2716 Intel's and all others that manufacturers made later. So, TI quickly built a new Intel compatible chip, called it TMS2516 to differenciate it from the first version and sold hundred thousands of pieces.