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A Guide to the Different Varieties of Flash Technology

  • A Guide to the Different Varieties of Flash Technology-

    The Basics

    In reality, there are only three types of NAND flash: SLC, MLC and TLC. The differences between them seem simple. With flash, bits are written to areas called cells. The differences between the types of flash relate to how many bits can be written to a given cell; single-level cell (SLC) writes one bit, multi-level cell (MLC) writes two bits, and triple-level cell (TLC) writes three bits. There is more to it than that, though. Each type has considerably different characteristics, including performance, cost and endurance (how long the flash can be used).

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A Guide to the Different Varieties of Flash Technology

  • 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
  • A Guide to the Different Varieties of Flash Technology-2

    The Basics

    In reality, there are only three types of NAND flash: SLC, MLC and TLC. The differences between them seem simple. With flash, bits are written to areas called cells. The differences between the types of flash relate to how many bits can be written to a given cell; single-level cell (SLC) writes one bit, multi-level cell (MLC) writes two bits, and triple-level cell (TLC) writes three bits. There is more to it than that, though. Each type has considerably different characteristics, including performance, cost and endurance (how long the flash can be used).

Flash storage technology has become a part of our everyday lives. From the devices in our hands to the servers in data centers, flash memory has become a technology that touches everyone. Still, for all its prevalence, flash technology is only in the early stages of its evolution. There are many different types of flash and choosing the right one for a particular application is critical.

Where flash technology was once considered too expensive for large applications, it is reaching the economic tipping point. IT departments are making the shift from disk to flash, because as the cost of solid state storage goes down the economics of performance justify that shift. However, choosing the right flash solution is still a challenge. What is the right type of flash for your needs? Each variety of flash has its own set of nuances, pros and cons based on its configuration within the hardware and pre-destined performance when manufactured.

In this slideshow, Violin Memory discusses the differences in performance benefits of each flavor of flash starting from the fundamental properties of the chips themselves to the controller and configuration within the array. Learn why this all matters and what happens when different ingredients are blended together.