Facts about Flash Memory Durability
From flash drives to embedded flash storage, one of the leading questions that people have when they consider using flash memory is how long it will last. Flash memory durability used to be a major concern, but endurance has increased dramatically in recent years and continues to improve. In terms of durability, flash memory outperforms many other solutions—and when combined with the other benefits of flash memory, it is the clear winner for many commercial and industrial devices. These are the facts that you need to know about flash memory durability.
Flash memory durability is dictated by usage, not time.
Flash memory devices can withstand the test of time. If you save data on a device and then don’t return to it for an extended period of time, the data will still be there when you go back to the device. What does affect flash memory durability is usage. Flash memory has a limited number of program cycles it can run before the memory device stops working at all or before some of the data starts to become corrupted.
Different kinds of flash memory have different levels of durability.
The most durable kind of flash memory is SLC, or single-level cell. This kind of flash only writes one bit of data to each cell. Because of this, few voltages are required, so the device can last for much longer. Generally, SLC flash can tolerate over 100,000 program and erase cycles.
MLC, or multi-level cell flash, is the next in line in terms of durability. Two bits of data are stored in each cell on MLC flash drives. About 30,000 program and erase cycles are possible with MLC flash. Note that read cycles don’t wear out flash technology. Only write cycles impact the durability.
Flash memory has integrated tools to increase and monitor durability.
Flash memory contains wear-leveling algorithms that ensure that the memory is used efficiently. This helps the memory device meet its maximum lifespan. Flash memory also contains technology that monitors the memory device to identify any signs of errors, so users can know in advance when a flash device may be in need of replacement.
Do you have questions about flash memory durability? Delkin’s customer team is here to provide answers and help you select the right kind of memory for your industrial application. Contact us today for more information.