How Does Flash Memory Work?

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  • Flash memory is the technology used in memory cards and USB drives. Basically, it is memory that can be reprogrammed and erased electronically. Many use the flash memory to transfer files between areas; from camera to computer, computer to digital audio player and computer to computer. Flash memory is replacing other memory-recording media because of its compact design and large storage capacity.

  • Flash memory is considered non-volatile because it doesn't require a power source to save information. Flash memory can be used for computers, PDAs, phones, digital cameras and camcorders, video games, digital audio players and laptops.

  • Another great selling point for flash memory is that it is durable. Even under pressure and extreme temperatures, it is able to withstand. It is very hard to destroy from careless upkeep or accidental damage. Drop it on the floor, accidentally step on it or get it caught in the door, it will take a lot to harm the device; which is good news for consumers who optimize the technology quite often.

  • Information is quickly saved or erased from flash memory. This is quite refreshing from the EEPROM-only memory devices of the past. Where the EEPROM erased information very slowly, deleting only small bits at a time, flash memory does the job in just a few seconds.

  • NOR and NAND are the two types of flash memory. There are pros and cons to both types. Depending on what the needs are, finding the right type of flash memory is very simple. NOR is slower when it comes to saving and deleting information, but it also allows for random access storage. This means that it uses the full address and data busses and information doesn't have to be updated often. NAND is faster but doesn't use random access memory. If wanting a replacement for ROM chips then the NOR version is better for you. NAND is better for replacing memory cards.

  • With all technology, flash memory does have its limitations. For one, the amount of times that information can be erased and rewritten isn't infinite. The number of rewritten times can be up to 100,000 times. This is still a large number, but it still means that one memory card will last you forever. Some forms of routers and thin clients can only be reprogrammed once or twice, making it very hard to obtain the flash memory for very large length of time.

  • Still, flash memory is the preferred source of memory used for main forms of technology. The limitation of erase and rewritten times doesn't take away from the speed and ease of use. The good things about flash memory are still stacking up; it is able to transport files and information between sources without much effort. It is also able to take a beating without being really effected. This will make it a favorite amongst consumers also.

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