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wearing out Flash memory

wearing out Flash memory

Posted May 23, 2008 3:07 UTC (Fri) by sbishop (guest, #33061)
In reply to: Barriers and journaling filesystems by brouhaha
Parent article: Barriers and journaling filesystems

Part of the trouble is that people confuse Flash memory with devices implemented using Flash.
A location within a Flash memory chip, for example, will certainly wear out faster if it's
written to repeatedly.  The chips themselves do absolutely no wear leveling.  But, of course,
it would be insane to build a Flash-based device without built-in wear-leveling logic and CRC
checks, which may have been the reason for the "it is impossible to wear out flash faster by
writing repeatedly" comment.

By the way, I work for a memory manufacturer, and it's my job to do reliability testing on
this stuff.  My co-workers and I have all come to hate Flash.  It is expected that the chips
will wear out, and transient failures are okay.  The controllers are expected to deal with
these issues; it's the nature of the beast.  So what does "working" mean?!  Oh, and the state
machine of each one of these *#$%!@ things are different.  I miss DRAM...


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