What Are Flash Memory Storage Devices And How Do They Work
Flash memory is a type of permanent or non-volatile memory that provides a method to electrically rewrite and reprogram the data. Flash memory storage devices offer a lot of benefits over traditional storage devices like HDDs, in the sense that they provide faster data transfer speeds and are also much more reliable and durable as they have no moving parts. Flash memory tech is used in a variety of portable devices like smartphones, SD cards, digital cameras etc.
Flash memory is a very complex technology and its devices are made up of a very complex and interconnected grid of floating-gate transistors. Every transistor in this grid has two gates: a control gate and a floating gate. The control gate is used to read and write data, while the floating gate stores the data.
When data is written to a cell, a high voltage is applied to the control gate, which causes electrons to tunnel through the oxide layer and become trapped in the floating gate. The total amount of electrons trapped in the floating gate determines the value of the data stored in the cell.
To erase USB flash drives, a high voltage is applied to the floating gate, which causes the electrons to tunnel out of the floating gate. Once the floating gate is empty, the cell can be rewritten with new data.
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Types of Flash Memory Storage Devices
There are two main types of USB flash drives that you can buy from the market.
NOR Flash: It is an older version of flash memory. The main feature of this type is the fast random access speed. This property makes it ideal for storing data that needs to be accessed quickly, like computer BIOS. However, NOR-type drives can not store large amounts of data and therefore, are not used for everyday tasks.
NAND Flash: On the contrary, this is a newer version of flash memory and is characterized as a high-capacity flash memory device with low cost. This makes NAND devices very ideal for storing huge amounts of data in multiple formats, such as music, photos, and videos. It is also much faster than NOR flash for sequential access, which makes it perfect for storing data that needs to be accessed in a specific order, such as video files.
Things To Consider When Buying Memory Sticks
Buying a memory stick is a simple task and you don’t need to be an IT expert. But there are certain things you should consider when buying USB flash drives.
Storage capacity: How much data do you need to store? Memory sticks come in a variety of sizes, from a few gigabytes to several terabytes.
Transfer speed: How quickly do you need to transfer data? Memory sticks that are able to provide faster transfer speeds can be more expensive, but they can be worth it if you need to transfer large files frequently.
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