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Monday, January 02, 2006

Flash memory

Today’s topic is about flash memory.
Flash memory is one of memory you are using everyday in your mobile devices.
Almost memories on your PC lose data when the power is off. However, flash memory can maintain data though the power is off. You are already experienced that your mp3 player never loses music files.

What is Flash Memory?
Flash memory is non-volatile, which means that it does not need power to maintain the information stored in the chip. In addition, flash memory offers fast read access times (though not as fast as volatile DRAM memory used for main memory in PCs) and better shock resistance than hard disks. ( from wikipedia)

Therefore, there are many applications that use flash memory such as storage on battery-powered device like MP3 Player, mobile phone and PDA. In addition, External USB storage we are using has a flash memory.

Flash memory is made in two forms: NOR flash and NAND flash. The name refers to the type of logic gate used in each storage cell.
Almost flash memory we are using to store data is NAND flash. NOR flash is used for running program like DRAM.

As you know, SAMSUNG is world's largest NAND flash memory chipmaker. The market share is 60%(?). The success of Apple's iPod enlarges the market of flash memory. So INTEL has a plan to produce NAND flash memory with Micronics that is one of the memory manufacturer in the US.

Followed by Hwang's law, Samsung under Hwang has redoubled chip capacity every year since 1999, creating an industrial pattern named "Hwang's law," overturning the previous "Moore's law" that had correctly observed the number of transistors per integrated circuit would double every couple of years.(from Korea times)

Anyway, more information will be stored to flash memory for future. Flash memory may replace hard disk.