Explaining NAND Flash Memory
NAND flash memory is at the core of most embedded storage devices and SSDs. It is a non-volatile form of memory, which means it doesn’t require power to store data, and is considered to be both versatile and reliable. In the past five years, use of NAND flash memory has become widespread in both consumer and industrial applications that need a reliable form of storage that doesn’t require a power source. You can find NAND flash memory in everything from notebook computers and cellphones to high-tech industrial applications in healthcare, transportation, and gaming.
How does NAND flash memory work?
NAND flash memory stores data on cells. If the memory is called SLC NAND flash, it is single-level cell memory, which means that one bit of data is stored on each cell. If it is MLC flash memory, also known as multi-level cell flash memory, it stores two bits of data on each cell.
NAND flash memory works using voltages to store and read data. The voltage determines whether the information is stored to the cell or if it is read during an operation. Because MLC NAND flash stores more than one bit of data per cell, it is slightly more prone to errors, as it must use four voltages rather than two. It typically wears out faster than SLC NAND flash.
What is NAND cell wear leveling?
Every NAND cell can only perform a certain number of write operations. To maximize the longevity of a NAND device, the flash controller can perform wear-leveling operations. With wear leveling, data is spread evenly across the NAND flash memory cells, so that no single part of the flash memory wears out faster than other parts. This even wearing of the memory helps to prevent premature failure.
How long will NAND flash memory last?
NAND flash memory longevity depends on many different factors, including whether it is SLC or MLC and how it is used. Read operations don’t impact the lifespan of NAND flash memory, so devices that primarily perform read operations, like gaming systems, can last for longer than those in which write operations are common. However, NAND flash memory is used in many demanding industrial applications and can last for an extended period of time, regardless of its use.
Delkin can help you determine how long you can expect NAND flash memory to last in your application and assist you in choosing embedded storage for your industrial device. Contact us today for more information.