Spotlight on SSD Multi-Level Cell NAND Flash Memory
SSDs—solid state drives—typically rely on NAND Flash memory for storage. NAND Flash memory provides a non-volatile storage option with a chip capacity that rivals magnetic storage devices. NAND Flash memory is found in a huge range of products and applications, from consumer devices like digital cameras to industrial-grade gaming systems. One popular form of NAND Flash memory is SSD multi-level cell Flash, or MLC Flash. MLC Flash retains data without the need for a power source and can be found in both consumer and industrial applications.
What is multi-level cell Flash?
MLC Flash is a form of Flash memory in which more than one bit of data is written per cell. It is an alternative to both SLC Flash (single-level cell, which stores one bit of data per cell) and TLC Flash (triple-level cell, in which three bits of data are stored on each cell). It is used in many different technologies. Most people use devices every day that rely on MLC Flash memory. Cellphones, cameras, and many USB drives are built around MLC Flash.
How does MLC store multiple bits of data?
MLC stores more than one data bit per cell by using four electrical states per cell. The cells have a specific electrical charge. As such, the NAND cell must be able to both apply charges at four different levels at the floating gate and interpret which of the levels is set. This operation is more involved than SLC memory, which makes MLC function somewhat slower. However, the speed difference is not sufficiently disruptive to most users. MLC is faster than TLC.
How long does MLC Flash memory last?
All NAND Flash memory has a limited number of read and write cycles that it can complete. There are many factors that affect the lifespan of an SSD with multi-level cell Flash storage, including the application in which it is being used and how it is being used. Integrated algorithms can help users manage MLC longevity so that the risk of errors is reduced.
Talk to the Delkin product team if you are considering using MLC SSDs for your applications to determine if they are the best fit for your needs. Delkin provides customized storage solutions for an unlimited variety of industrial devices and applications.