Nice to know: What is Flash Memory?

How is data stored in our smartphones? How do countless photos fit on a small SD card in the camera? With the same technology as for SSDs: the flash memory. We took a closer look at that.

Flash memory is a non-volatile memory based on semiconductor chips. The exact name is Flash EEPROM because it was developed from EEPROM (which stands for Electrical Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory). The storage of data is identical to EEPROM, however, it is read, written, deleted or reprogrammed block by block in data blocks of 4, 8 or 16 kilobytes.

Flash memory is characterized above all by its fast response times and high data transfer rates, which is why it is also suitable for high-performance applications such as video editing or 3D. It is also efficient, impact-resistant, compact and contains no moving parts. In contrast to RAM (Random Access Memory), the data in Flash is retained even after the power supply is switched off, which is why it is mainly used in SSDs, USB sticks, smartphones, cameras and memory cards.

Advantages of flash memories

  • Data is retained even without a power supply. As a result, the storage type also consumes less power and has less heat development than HDDs.
  • It works silently and has no problems with vibrations.
  • Inexpensive.
  • High reading and writing speed.

Disadvantages of flash memories

  • Wearout is higher and therefore Flash a limited number of write and erase processes.
  • The duration of data storage is also limited, which is why Flash is not suitable for archiving data.

We already explained the difference between HDDs and SSDs in a knowledge article. More about flash memory and a detailed explanation of how it works can be found at and in the

##Nice to know: What is the difference between HDDs and SSDs?

More on this topic

10 Jun 2020 know-how

Nice to know: What is eMMC?

Many mobile devices and also some of our spo-comm Mini-PCs use eMMC as their storage. But what exactly is eMMC and what are the benefits of this storage media? We want to explain it to you in this article.
19 Nov 2019 know-how

Industrial PCs part 2: Energy efficiency

Did part 1 of our current knowledge series about the industrial PC convince you? Then let's move on to the next article! The second part of our blog series about the robust computing systems is about the energy-efficient design of the systems. Why that is so important you ask? We clarify.
1 Apr 2020 know-how

Nice to know: What is SoC?

At the end of 2018 we launched our first ever one-chip-system, the TEGRA 2. Its special feature: It is based on a SoC-chip. What that is and which benefits this architecture has, we explain in this article.