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 Explainthatstuff.com and in the TechTarget.com.

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