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Advantages and Disadvantages of Flash Memory

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Flash memory is an evolving technology that’s finding its way into our lives on an increasing scale.  Flash-memory technology is ubiquitous. Like most things associated with computers, non-volatile storage sticks have a specific set of benefits and drawbacks. Having a basic idea of those parameters allows the buyer to form a more informed choice about which is best for his or her needs.

Flash memory may be a quite Erasable Read Only Memory (EEROM) which has the potential to clear and rewrite data. It’s non-volatile meaning it can hold data even without the presence of power, supported the way of addressing read/write data, non-volatile storage is of two types. Those are the NAND non-volatile storage and NOR non-volatile storage.  

Non-volatile storage is made using solid-state chips. Each of those chips contains an array of non-volatile storage cells. Rather than a traditional electrochemical method, non-volatile storage uses semiconductors for storing data. Non-volatile storage is one and the only sort of semiconductor memory making it one of the important sorts of data-storage medium. While non-volatile storage has gained immense popularity there are some drawbacks that limit its universal adoption. These factors must be considered before using this data-storage medium.

Advantages of non-volatile storage :

  1. Speed –
    Non-volatile storage posses high transferring speeds. Compared to a standard hard disc drive, non-volatile storage does read/write function at a quick rate.
  2. Drives – 
    Still tops in terms of performance.
  3. Durability –
    Non-volatile storage doesn’t contain any moving parts. It solely depends on electrochemical processes, having no moving parts means it’s more durable also.
  4. Form Factor –
    Most of the flash memories come in several forms. More or same capacity are often packed in smaller units, making it require less space to accommodate data storage.
  5. Reliability – 
    Over the span of the last 70 years, hard disc drives are continually improved in terms of reliability. Still, flash memories outrank them. This is often again due to the very fact that it lacks moving parts. The reliability of flash memories makes it recommended to be utilized in mobile devices.
  6. Efficiency –
    Non-volatile storage requires no physical parts for its operations. Hence, there’s a very less number of energy required for its functioning. And also thanks to this fact there’s no noise produced also.
  7. Portability –
    Another advantage of flash memories is that it’s highly portable. Therefore, they’re mostly utilized in devices that are small and lightweight weighted. Examples like USB memory sticks and camera flash cards.
  8. Non-volatile: Flash memory is non-volatile, which means that it can retain data even when the power is turned off. This makes it a reliable storage option for electronic devices.
  9. Fast read/write speeds: Flash memory has fast read/write speeds, which makes it a good option for storing and retrieving data quickly.
  10. Portable: Flash memory is small and portable, which makes it well-suited for use in mobile devices and portable storage devices.
  11. Durable: Flash memory is durable and can withstand physical shocks and vibrations, which makes it a good option for use in rugged environments.

Disadvantages of non-volatile storage :

  1. Cost –
    Supported the value per gigabyte basis, flash memories are always expensive than traditional hard disc drives. This is often because hard disc drives are less costly to manufacture and have been for a very while. Therefore, usually business of small budgets prefer HDDs over other sorts of flash memories.
  2. Effectiveness –
    Many NAND drives make efficient use of the process of Program/Erase to storing data., this process eventually wears and tears down the flash drives. As a result flash memories don’t have the potential to carry up heavy write loads.
  3. Lifetime –
    Although flash memories are more durable than a standard hard disc drive, it doesn’t possess an infinite lifetime. It goes on decreasing when applied high voltages across transistors. However, most flash memories won’t affect until completing a minimum of 10000 rewrites.
  4. Capacity –
    Generally, most or all of the flash memories do have a drag reaching higher capacity as hard disc drives. Only Solid State Drives which are of flash memories comes with higher capacities. But that too under rare circumstances. SSDs also have a drag reaching 1TB in size. Besides this, all the flash memories with greater capacities tend to urge performance issues. Therefore, capacity is usually a priority in flash memories.
  5. Editing –
    Works Another drawback of flash memories is that it rewrites data in block units. If it’s done one by one for every byte, it can take a considerably long amount of your time. Thanks to this the editing time has been hampering significantly. However, this process doesn’t make sure that each block is often edited specifically.
  6. Physical Damages –
    Flash memories especially those are by memory cards are susceptible to damages. They will be easily smashed or lost. Sometimes electronic corruption can make the cardboard unreadable. Likewise, the difficulty is often addressed to SSDs too. They will be damaged if handled improperly.
  7. Limited write cycles: Flash memory has a limited number of write cycles, which means that it can wear out over time. This can lead to data loss or corruption if the memory is used for intensive write operations.
  8. Limited storage capacity: Flash memory has a limited storage capacity compared to other types of storage devices, such as hard disk drives or solid-state drives.
  9. Expensive: Flash memory can be more expensive than other types of storage devices on a per-gigabyte basis.
  10. Susceptible to data corruption: Flash memory is susceptible to data corruption if it is exposed to magnetic fields or high temperatures, which can lead to data loss or corruption.
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Last Updated : 15 Apr, 2023
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