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Understanding the Architecture of an SLC USB Flash Drive


Flash drives are one of the most recognizable, widely used forms of memory. One advantage of USB flash drives is that they are portable, allowing you to easily carry transfer a significant amount of data around. Although many people have used USB flash drives for personal projects, these drives have also been developed to meet the unique needs of the industrial flash memory market. Thanks to the use of SLC flash memory and impressive internal architecture, today’s SLC USB flash drives offer quality features, like fast transfer rates, high-capacity storage, and efficient write/erase cycles.


The Basics of NAND

NAND flash memory has changed everything about data storage in devices. Fujio Masuoka, who invented flash memory, was also the creator of NAND. His original inspiration for flash memory was the creation of a computer chip that could offer the kind of functionality provided by EEPROM through the use of a large erase transistor. Through his invention, data was erased “in a flash,” thus inspiring the name.


After developing flash, Masuoka got rid of half of the signal lines in the memory chip, which led to a significant decrease in size and allowed bits in the chip to communicate through adjacent trips. This was NAND flash memory. NAND was quickly embraced by developers and continues to be a driving force in the design of memory that does not require a power source.


Memory Cell Architecture

The most commonly used forms of NAND flash memory in industrial USB drives are SLC (single-level cell) and MLC (multi-level cell). This difference between these two NAND forms is the amount of data that is stored on each cell within the memory chip. SLC USB drives store one bit of data per cell, while MLC memory allows two bits of data to be stored per cell.


In terms of the arrangement of the memory cells, the architecture is similar to that of a metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor, or MOSFET. The difference is that NAND memory cells have both a control gate and a floating gate. The floating gate traps electrons and has a layer of insulation that ensures the data is saved even when there is no power source.


Excited Electrons and Floating Gates

The floating gates of an SLC USB drive obtains electrons through adjacent sources and drains with different voltages. When a charge is applied, excited electrons can move the through the insulated oxide to the area between the floating and control gates. If the floating gate has a negative charge, then the data will be erased, and with a positive charge, the data will be written.


Delkin has a long-standing reputation as a supplier of rugged SLC USB NAND flash drives, with high capacities and speeds. We also offer a variety of customization options. Contact us today to learn more.


ORDER DELKIN INDUSTRIAL FLASH STORAGE TODAY through our distribution partner Newark.

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