Advantages and Disadvantages of Flash Memory
Flash Memory, types of flash memory, their working, advantages, and disadvantages are discussed in this article in detail.
What is Flash Memory?
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage technology that is rapidly permeating our daily lives. Currently, devices that using flash memory are being widely used. Non-volatile storage sticks, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Hence, a buyer can make a more informed decision about which option is suitable for his or her needs by having a basic understanding of those parameters.
Solid-state chips are used to create non-volatile storage. There are a variety of non-volatile storage cells on each of those chips. Non-volatile storage stores data on semiconductors as opposed to the conventional electrochemical technique. Since non-volatile storage is the only type of semiconductor memory, it is one of the most significant types of data storage. Non-volatile storage has become very popular, yet there are significant issues that prevent its widespread use. Before making use of this data-storage medium, many aspects are necessary to be considered
Flash memory provides the ability to delete and rewrite data, making it a relatively Erasable Read Only Memory (EEROM). Non-volatile storage has two different forms and can store data even in the absence of power. It also supports read/write data access. They are NOR and NAND non-volatile storage, respectively.
Types of Flash Memory: NOR and NAND
NOR and NAND are the two fundamental types of flash memory. The names of each type of flash memories are reflected in their names. The "if-then" process is performed by logic gates, which are collections of transistors, results in the desired output. The design of the logic gate controls which output any given input will produce.
- NOR Flash Memory - Though it costs more per bit, NOR can read and alter data more precisely than NAND and at a faster rate. Most often, users pick NOR flash memory for code execution.
- NAND Flash Memory - Although NAND is less expensive than NOR, it has a slower read speed and can only access memory in blocks rather than bytes. It is effective for keeping big, often updated files.
Working of Flash Memory:
Solid-state chips have an array of flash memory cells that are integrated into the flash memory they contain. Flash memory stores data using electrical circuits rather than the more conventional electromechanical method. Here is how it works:
- Each cell's source (electric input) and drain are connected by a transistor, which conducts current through it (electric output).
- The transistor acts as an on-off switch or a gate to regulate the flow of current.
- A transistor that is "on" permits electrons to move freely across a cell, which is where binary 1 is stored.
- An "off" transistor holds a 0 and prevents electron flow.
Random access memory (RAM) is a type of volatile memory that erases all data when the power source is cut off by returning all gates to zero states. However, ROM, which includes flash memory, functions by including a second gate, referred to as a "floating gate," in each cell. In the "on" state of a transistor, some electrons stick to the floating gate and stay there permanently to store a 1, with or without power. This partial electron loss occurs in all varieties of programmable ROM (PROM). When a user adds a certain negative voltage to the gate in an electrically erasable PROM (EEPROM), the gate will only stop electrons and set the transistor back to zero.
Advantages of Flash Memory:
- Speed - High transfer rates are possible with non-volatile storage. Non-volatile storage does have faster read/write speeds than a regular hard disk.
- Drives - In terms of performance, it is still the best.
- Durability - Storage that is non-volatile lacks any moving parts. It is entirely dependent on electrochemical processes, and as there are no moving parts, it is also more durable.
- Form factor - Most flash memories are available in a variety of formats. Less space is needed to accommodate data storage since larger or equivalent capacities are frequently packed into smaller devices.
- Reliability - The reliability of hard disc drives has increased steadily. However, flash memories are superior. This is because of the absence of any moving parts. The dependability of flash memories makes them more recommendable for phones.
- Efficiency - There are no physical components required for flash memory to work. This makes it work even for extremely little energy. Hence there is no noise.
- Portability - The extreme portability of flash memory is another benefit. Therefore, they are mostly used in compact and lightweight devices. Camera flash cards and USB memory sticks are common examples.
Disadvantages of Flash Memory
- Cost - The cost per GB of flash memory is more than the conventional hard disk. This is because of the low manufacturing cost of the hard disk. Business models having limited resources to use or store use Hard Disks instead of Flash memories.
- Effectiveness - The program's process, which is used by many NAND drives to store data efficiently, eventually wears out and destroys flash drives. Flash memories can't bear the load of high writes.
- Lifetime - Flash memories do not have an infinite lifetime, even though they are more resilient than the HDs. The lifespan continues to go down when the high voltages are applied across the transistors. However, the change in the flash memories starts after the performance of more than 10,000 writes.
- Capacity - Generally speaking, most or all-flash memories do struggle to attain capacities as high as hard disc drives. The only solid-state drives with bigger capacity are those made of flash memory. But only in extremely unusual cases. SSDs also have a maximum limit of 1TB. In addition, all flash memory with larger capacity has a tendency to cause performance problems. As a result, flash memory often prioritizes capacity.
- Editing - The fact that flash memories rewrite data in block units is another disadvantage. Every byte must be processed individually, which could take a lot of your time. This has substantially slowed down the editing process. This technique does not, however, guarantee that each block is frequently updated specifically.
- Physical Damages - Particularly flash memories that are connected to memory cards are prone to damage. They can easily be broken or misplaced. Electronic corruption can occasionally render the cardboard illegible. Similarly, SSDs are frequently mentioned while discussing the issue. If handled incorrectly, they will be harmed.