An Introduction to Flash Memory

eiodotcom —  July 4, 2012 — 1 Comment

Today’s Eio post is on flash memory.

Flash memory falls under the EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read-only memory) category of memory. Unlike RAM, which requires a power source to maintain its memory, flash memory stores information without requiring an external power source. In other words, you can remove the memory card from the computer or power source and the memory is still on it. When the computer is turned off for RAM, RAM memory is lost.

Flash memory is used in several types of portable electronics, such as smartphones, digital cameras, USB flash drive sticks, music players (iPods), and even video game cards.

Advantages of Flash Memory

Nonvolatile

Flash memory is a nonvolatile memory storage devices, meaning there are no moving parts within. This is an advantage because if knocked hard or it falls on the ground, the lack of moving parts ensures less damage. If you’ve ever dropped or banged a hard drive against a hard object, you know how much damage that small shock can cause to it. Flash memory is much more resistant to hard impacts because of its nonvolatility.

Silence

Sushi Flash Drives!

Flash memory is also silent because of the lack of moving parts within. Hard drives can be loud when they boot up, as the motor is spinning inside. Flash memory has none of that.

Speed Advantage

Flash memory actually gets its name from its write-speed. It writes and re-writes “in a flash!” Regular EEPROM products erase and write content one byte at a time, which can be sluggish to update. Flash memory erases and writes in blocks of bytes, meaning it can update large amounts of data. Flash memory drives are a perfect technology for applications that require frequent updating of data. You can upload data from one source onto the flash stick, then download it onto another source in a flash!

One Caveat: Memory Wear

There is one main disadvantage to flash memory: memory wear. This limitation means that the flash memory drive only has a finite number of program-erase cycles, usually around 100,000 cycles. Once you write, erase, and re-write more than the allotted amount of times, the wear begins to deteriorate the integrity of the storage and you have to replace the drive.

Eio’s catalog carries a wide array of flash memory drives.

From the super tiny!

Verbatim 97464 Store ‘n’ Stay 16GB Netbook USB Drive

To the heavy duty and all-terrain.

LaCie 131075 XtremKey 16GB All-Terrain USB 2.0 Flash Drive

To the dual-purpose!

Super Talent NG-2GB-BK NG 2GB Pen/Laser Pointer USB2.0 Flash Drive (Black)

To the fun-filled!

Super Talent RB-8G-SHAR Shark 8GB USB2.0 Flash Drive

See also:

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One response to An Introduction to Flash Memory

  1. 

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