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112-Memories in Computers — Part 3: Flash Memory

By: Dr. William R. Huber, PE

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Course Objective

This continuing education course is written specifically for professional engineers with the objective of relating to and enhancing the practice of engineering.

Course Description

112-Memories in Computers — Part 3:  Flash Memory

Flash memories will account for $26B in sales in 2010. They are used in all modern digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, PDAs, music players, home video game machines and computers.

Why is flash so popular? Flash excels in three areas: technical, physical and financial. The technical reasons are (1) nonvolatility–flash memory retains its information for more than 10 years even with no power applied and (2) speed–flash memory is 100 to 1000 times faster than magnetic hard drives. The physical reasons are (1) density–flash memory has 8x as many bits per chip as DRAM, and (2) power–flash memory consumes far less power than magnetic hard drives. In the financial area, flash memory is about 40% of the cost of DRAM on a per bit basis.

Why isn't flash memory used in place of DRAM and magnetic hard drives? Again, there are three areas that hold back flash: reliability, speed and cost. Regarding reliability, flash memories can endure from 5000 to over 100,000 erase/program cycles. That is adequate for many but not all applications. Flash speed is indeed much faster than magnetic hard drives, but programming speed is far slower that DRAMs; much too slow for main memory applications. And flash cost, although lower than DRAMs, is still far above that of magnetic hard drives.

This course discusses all of the above issues, as well as the historical background, physical basis, cell structure, and chip architecture and operation of these omnipresent devices. You will learn and understand hot electron injection, Fowler-Nordheim tunneling, NOR and NAND array structures and operation, multi-level storage and error correction coding. The flash memory market, including applications and major producers, are explored; and two major portions of that market, flash memory cards and solid state drives, are examined in detail.

This course builds on, but is independent of Memories in Computers–Part 1. No high-level math is required.

112-Memories in Computers — Part 3: Flash Memory
Bruce Bartling
09/26/2018
Verified Buyer
All 3 courses were fantastic. Tons of great information in a direct, understandable form.
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112-Memories in Computers — Part 3: Flash Memory
Wayne Allgood
12/26/2017
Verified Buyer
Good overview of flash memory.
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anonymous
12/12/2014
All 3 Memory courses were well worth it, they built on each other well.
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Course Code: 100216-03
Course PDH Hours: 4
Engineering Course Approvals
  • This course is accepted for engineering continuing education credit in all states.
  • Ohio rules allow only 6-hours of unsupervised online courses such as this course per license renewal period

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For fastest service please enter your question or issue in the text box below. Enter your name and email address so we can reply. Be sure to give us enough info to identify the course or order that you need help with.

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