Flash memory interface tutorial covering basic fundamentals

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Flash memory or a flash RAM is a type of nonvolatile semiconductor memory device where stored data exists even when memory device is not electrically powered. It`s an improved version of electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM). The difference between Flash Memory and EEPROM are, EEPROM erases and rewrite its content one byte a

Flash memory interface tutorial covering basic fundamentals
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t a time or in other words, at byte level. Where as Flash memory erases or writes its data in entire blocks, which makes it a very fast memory compared to EEPROM. Flash memory can`t replace DRAM and SRAM because the speed at which the DRAM/SRAM can access data and also their ability to address at byte level can`t be matched by Flash. The flash memory is also termed as Solid-state Storage Device (SSD) due to the absence of moving parts in comparison to traditional computer hard disk drive. The two main types of flash memory are the NOR Flash & NAND Flash. Intel is the first company to introduce commercial (NOR type) flash chip in 1988 and Toshiba released world`s first NAND-flash in 1989. NOR-flash is slower in erase-operation and write-operation compared to NAND-flash. That means the NAND-flash has faster erase and write times. More over NAND has smaller erase units. So fewer erases are needed. NOR-flash can read data slightly faster than NAND. NOR offers complete address and data buses to randomly access any of its memory location (addressable to every byte). This makes it a suitable replacement for older ROM BIOS/firmware chips, which rarely needs to be updated. Its endurance is 10, 000 to 1, 000, 000 erase cycles. NOR is highly suitable for storing code in embedded systems. Most of the today`s microcontrollers comes with built in flash memory. NAND-flash occupies smaller chip area per cell. This maker NAND available in...

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