Flash memory based solid state storage devices (SSD) are pushing hard disk drives out of the market and could, one day soon, replace them all together.
Flash is now used everywhere, in phones, cameras and USB sticks. Flash stores information in an array of memory cells made from floating-gate transistors.
There are two types of flash memory: NAND and NOR, named after logic operations.
- NAND flash may be written to and read from in blocks
- NOR flash allows a single byte to be written or read independently
Benefits of Using NAND Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives:
- The first is improved performance as flash moves the data quicker.
- The second is higher reliability as it is not mechanically-based, and better durability to withstand shocks, high pressures and temperatures. No moving parts also means less noise and, finally, he claims it consumes much less power.
A flash controller provides the interface between the host controller or processor and the flash memory device. The controller interprets the host microprocessor’s instructions; for example, "accept these 10kbit of information for storage in 10k locations," and it will decide where in the flash memory to store the information. It then retrieves the information when requested.
3D NAND technology heralds a new era of flash storage with high performance, high capacity and low cost being available at the same time.
What is 3D NAND? 3D NAND cells are built vertically like a skyscraper.
By using 3D NAND, you can store 12.8Tbyte on a single SSD drive. This is a milestone for the SSD industry.
Earthtron currently has 2D MLC NAND FLASH available:
12,000 pieces of MT29F32G08CBACAWP-Z:C
SSDs are now finding application in many sectors, ranging from automotive and medical to factory automation and point of sale systems.
1. Automotive: SSDs provide performance that withstands automotive temperature extremes, shock, and vibration. The growing demand for storage in the automotive industry requires rugged designs and robust data protection features that only automotive SSDs can deliver.
2. Medical: SSDs have evolved to become a practical option to replace rotating Hard Disk Drives in many embedded systems in medical equipment. This is because SSDs eliminate the single largest failure mechanism in most medical systems – the moving parts of HDDs.
3. Industrial Markets: From aerospace solutions and heavy robotics to remote communication installations and medical equipment, these devices need to be designed with reliability, quality, performance, security and longevity in mind.
4. Point of Sale Systems (POS): SSD drives can be integrated with POS systems, providing a noticeable boost in performance and because of the technology's physiology, SSD drives are not prone to latency issues when switching from sequential to random reads.
For all its benefits, flash has disadvantages, including the limited number of read and write cycles. However, companies are working to improve this and flash memory is set to become the storage technology of choice for a wide range of applications.