23 Facts About Flash memory


Flash memory is an electronic non-volatile computer memory storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.

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NAND or NOR flash memory is often used to store configuration data in numerous digital products, a task previously made possible by EEPROM or battery-powered static RAM.

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Flash memory is used in computers, PDAs, digital audio players, digital cameras, mobile phones, synthesizers, video games, scientific instrumentation, industrial robotics, and medical electronics.

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Flash memory has fast read access time, but it is not as fast as static RAM or ROM.

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Erase cycles are slow, the large block sizes used in flash memory erasing give it a significant speed advantage over non-flash EEPROM when writing large amounts of data.

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Origins of flash memory can be traced back to the development of the floating-gate MOSFET, known as the floating-gate transistor.

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Fujio Masuoka, while working for Toshiba, proposed a new type of floating-gate Flash memory that allowed entire sections of Flash memory to be erased quickly and easily, by applying a voltage to a single wire connected to a group of cells.

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Degradation or wear of the oxides is the reason why flash memory has limited endurance, and data retention goes down with increasing degradation, since the oxides lose their electrically insulating characteristics as they degrade.

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In 1998, Boaz Eitan of Saifun Semiconductors patented a flash memory technology named NROM that took advantage of a charge trapping layer to replace the conventional floating gate used in conventional flash memory designs.

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In flash memory, each memory cell resembles a standard metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor except that the transistor has two gates instead of one.

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NAND Flash memory cells are read by analysing their response to various voltages.

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In floating gate 3D NAND, the Flash memory cells are completely separated from one another, whereas in charge trap 3D NAND, vertical groups of Flash memory cells share the same silicon nitride material.

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An individual Flash memory cell is made up of one planar polysilicon layer containing a hole filled by multiple concentric vertical cylinders.

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In other words, flash memory offers random-access read and programming operations but does not offer arbitrary random-access rewrite or erase operations.

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NOR Flash memory has an external address bus for reading and programming.

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For NOR Flash memory, reading and programming are random-access, and unlocking and erasing are block-wise.

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For NAND Flash memory, reading and programming are page-wise, and unlocking and erasing are block-wise.

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The goal of the group is to provide standard software and hardware programming interfaces for nonvolatile memory subsystems, including the "flash cache" device connected to the PCI Express bus.

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Flash memory devices are typically much faster at reading than writing.

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Serial flash is a small, low-power flash memory that provides only serial access to the data - rather than addressing individual bytes, the user reads or writes large contiguous groups of bytes in the address space serially.

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Flash memory drives are gaining traction as mobile device secondary storage devices; they are used as substitutes for hard drives in high-performance desktop computers and some servers with RAID and SAN architectures.

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The cost per gigabyte of flash memory remains significantly higher than that of hard disks.

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Flash memory is embedded in ARM chips, which have sold 150billion units worldwide as of 2019, and in programmable system-on-chip devices, which have sold 1.

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