20Jul
The role of the Flash controller: Hiding inherent imperfections

The role of the Flash controller: Hiding inherent imperfections

NAND Flash is an ideal Non-Volatile mass-storage solution, especially for mobile devices, because of its high speed, low power and physical robustness (it has no moving parts). It is replacing hard disk drives in many applications. The technology does have a number of inherent characteristics that need to be managed to ensure reliability, performance and lifetime, and it is the job of the Flash controller to do this. The controller provides the physical interface between the Flash memory devices and the host. It controls data reads and writes to make the most effective use of the Flash memory.

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25Jun
What is NAND Flash Memory?

What is NAND Flash Memory?

In short, NAND Flash is a type of Non Volatile Memory (NVM) technology that stores data in arrays of memory cells that are made using Floating-Gate MOSFET transistors. It is a cost competitive NVM technology that has become a serious contender to replace magnetic rotating storage media (HDDs). The technology is used in a growing amount of storage devices such as USB Sticks, Flash drives, Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and memory cards like microSD and SD cards.

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7Jun
NAND Flash controllers – The key to endurance and reliability

NAND Flash controllers – The key to endurance and reliability

The interface between a host system and Flash memory is handled by the Flash controller. As well as providing the physical interface, the controller also has to manage the usage of the Flash memory to optimise performance, endurance, reliability and lifetime. Flash memory has some specific characteristics that the controller needs to handle correctly to achieve these goals. Among these are the process for writing data, the limited number of program/erase cycles of Flash memory cells, and error handling.

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22Mai
NAND Flash is displacing hard disk drives

NAND Flash is displacing hard disk drives

According to Markets and Research, the non-volatile memory market is expected to be over $81 billion in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 9.96%. NAND Flash is currently the fastest growing storage technology. This is mainly driven by the demands of digital cameras, smartphones and laptop computers, although some traditional markets, such as MP3 players, USB sticks and even tablets, are declining as their roles are taken over by other devices. At the same time, solid state drives (SSDs) are making inroads into the server market currently dominated by hard disk drives (HDDs).

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17Apr
Solid State bit density and the Flash Memory Controller

Solid State bit density and the Flash Memory Controller

Solid-state or Non-volatile memory is rapidly displacing magnetic media in mass storage, and this goes beyond the ubiquitous “thumb drive” to include high-density storage in servers. NAND Flash, the most prevalent form of solid-state storage, has many benefits, but increasing storage capacity and bit-density while maintaining sufficient reliability is a challenge for the industry. The Flash memory controller and its associated firmware play a crucial role in supporting developments in Flash-based mass storage.

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