USB NAND Flash Overview
USB drives may be the most widely recognized storage devices on the market. They are utilized by casual consumers and high-tech industrial users alike. USB flash drives use NAND flash memory chips to store large amounts of data in the confined space of a USB drive. Thanks to NAND flash, surprisingly high storage capacities are available in USB drives, particularly those designed for industrial users whose applications require a large amount of reliable storage. Here is what you need to know about USB NAND flash drives.
NAND Flash 101
NAND flash is a type of memory chip that is used in a variety of storage devices. It is nonvolatile storage, so it has the advantage of not requiring power in order to retain data. Memory chips designed with NAND flash have high storage levels, which means that storage devices that are designed with NAND flash memory can compete with the storage capacities of hard disk drives and other magnetic storage devices. This is a significant advantage, since magnetic storage devices are prone to mechanical failures that don’t affect flash memory. Flash memory has no moving parts, so those mechanical problems that can, for instance, plague the spinning disk of a hard disk drive are not a problem with NAND flash.
USB NAND Flash Designs
USBs are removable storage devices, so they offer a portable storage solution for users. They are also broadly compatible, so they are an ideal storage product for switching between devices seamlessly. NAND flash memory allows these devices to offer a powerful option for storage. OEMs, in particular, appreciate the customization options that are available with USB NAND flash drives, including the ability to label or serialize the drives.
SLC vs. MLC NAND Flash
USB NAND flash drives are available in both SLC and MLC NAND flash formats. Single-level cell, or SLC, NAND flash is often used for industrial applications. In USB drives, SLC NAND flash capacities of up to 32GB are available. Industrial users choose SLC flash because it stores one bit of data per cell in the memory chip, which means that its operations run as quickly as possible and that it can offer the best possible level of data protection, even in rugged conditions.
MLC NAND flash, or multi-level cell flash, is often found in commercial grade devices. It offers storage of up to 16GB. With two bits of data stored per cell, it isn’t quite as fast or reliable as SLC flash, but is still the best fit for many applications.
For answers to your questions about USB NAND flash drives, contact Delkin. We offer a variety of USB capacities and full customization options, and are available to help you make the right storage selection for your device.