Faster, more durable flash memory sought out for project

October 29, 2010

USB flash drives have become nearly ubiquitous and are now dressed out as everything from Winnie the Pooh to hand grenades. But to further expand flash memory’s use in such applications as the main memory of a computer, more work is needed, says a UT Dallas researcher.

Dr. Edwin Sha has received a $132,000 award to investigate two areas in particular: extending the lifetime of flash memory and speeding up how quickly flash memory saves data.

“The goal of this project is to develop answers to these issues as well as to investigate in depth the future technological trends of flash memory integration in embedded systems,” said Sha, a professor of computer science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The durability of today’s flash memory – in other words the number of erases possible – is limited. This probably never rises to the level of a problem with a typical USB flash drive, but a block of a typical flash memory can be erased only up to a million times. And every time you save data (except for the first save on a clean flash memory), you cause an erase action. Devising software that reduces saves would extend the lifetime of flash memory.

And if you ever noticed it took longer to save a file to flash memory than to retrieve it, that’s because there’s a significant difference: Saves take more than 300 times as long. The difference between saving and retrieving a 100 kilobyte photograph is minuscule, but the difference when dealing with a 20 gigabyte file can be a minute or two – an eternity, in digital time.

Sha suspects reducing the number of write operations on will significantly improve performance, and he believes that can be accomplished through software.

The specific areas he will explore include:

• The Efficient heuristics and optimal integer linear programming solutions.
• Data recomputation.
• Memory configuration, cache structure and scheduling techniques for both single-core and multi-core systems considering such important metrics as timing, power consumption, reliability and memory overhead.

Explore further: Intel, STMicroelectronics Partner To Lower Memory Costs For Cell Phone Makers

Related Stories

Intel First With 65nm NOR Flash Memory Chips

April 4, 2006

Intel Corporation is the first to sample NOR multi-level cell flash memory chips at 1-gigabit density using its advanced 65-nanometer (nm) process technology. Intel’s NOR Flash memory chips are used in devices such as cell ...

Organic flash memory developed

December 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a non-volatile memory that has the same basic structure as a flash memory but is made from cheap, flexible, organic materials.

Fujitsu Develops New NOR Flash Memory Macro

March 24, 2010

Fujitsu Microelectronics today announced the development of new flash memory macro that enables NOR flash memory circuits to achieve high-speed read operations while operating at low power currents.

Recommended for you

Inferring urban travel patterns from cellphone data

August 29, 2016

In making decisions about infrastructure development and resource allocation, city planners rely on models of how people move through their cities, on foot, in cars, and on public transportation. Those models are largely ...

How machine learning can help with voice disorders

August 29, 2016

There's no human instinct more basic than speech, and yet, for many people, talking can be taxing. 1 in 14 working-age Americans suffer from voice disorders that are often associated with abnormal vocal behaviors - some of ...

Apple issues update after cyber weapon captured

August 26, 2016

Apple iPhone owners on Friday were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers.

Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing

August 25, 2016

New 3D printing technology unveiled this week sharply increases the size of objects that can be produced, offering new possibilities to remake manufacturing in the auto, aerospace and other major industries.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.