What is Flash Memory?

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What is Flash Memory?
Flash memory is a memory chip commonly found in small and portable electronic gadgets of today. It can handle data storage without the need of a power source. Technically, it is a type of EEPROM or electronically erasable programmable read only memory wherein data can be erased or deleted much faster than conventional EEPROM’s. This speedier data clearing makes flash memory suitable for today’s electronic and portable devices.

Flash memory is similar to hard drives and is mainly used in quick data storage. Being smaller in size, it is used widely today because of portability. Though storage capacity is much lower than the traditional hard drives, flash memory is specifically designed for faster and speedier management and transfer of data.

Electronic devices that use flash memory are memory sticks, CompactFlash and SmartMedia usually found on digital cameras, cards for video game units, electronic music or mp3 players, modems, digital mobile phone devices, some memory cards, and computer BIOS. But probably the most recognizable use of flash memory is in removable storage disks or devices. These are devices known to people as flash disks or thumb drives or USB sticks or USB drives. In these removable storage devices, users can easily manage and transfer their files from one computer terminal to another. Storage capacities of these devices have also significantly gone up, with sticker prices going down, allowing for more file storage and greater usage.

Flash memory uses NOR and NAND technologies in mapping data. NOR technology is involved with quick reading and writing on a particular memory space. This is particularly used in the operating systems of mobile phones and the computer’s BIOS setup. NAND technology meanwhile has higher capacity and allows for quick data transfer. This newer technology is used in USB flash disks, digital cameras, TV setup boxes, and audio-video players.

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