Related topics: iphone · apple · samsung electronics

Consortium buying Toshiba's memory business promises growth

The buyers of Toshiba Corp.'s memory device operations are promising to invest in technology development and manufacturing facilities to stay competitive, although they stopped short of giving a specific monetary amount or ...

SK Hynix posts record quarterly net profit

The world's second-largest memory chipmaker SK Hynix saw profits nearly double to hit a record in the fourth quarter on strong demand, it said Thursday.

New insights on 'captured' electrons could improve flash memory

An entirely new model of the way electrons are briefly trapped and released in tiny electronic devices suggests that a long-accepted, industry-wide view is just plain wrong about the way these captured electrons affect the ...

SK Hynix posts record profits on rising demand

South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix posted record profits in the third quarter, it said Thursday, fuelled by strong demand for its memory chips coupled with rising global prices.

SK Hynix posts 'best-ever' quarterly profit

South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix posted record profits in the second quarter of the year, the company said Tuesday, as strong demand for its memory chips used in PCs and computer servers drove up prices.

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Flash memory

Flash memory is a non-volatile computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. It is a technology that is primarily used in memory cards and USB flash drives for general storage and transfer of data between computers and other digital products. It is a specific type of EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) that is erased and programmed in large blocks; in early flash the entire chip had to be erased at once. Flash memory costs far less than byte-programmable EEPROM and therefore has become the dominant technology wherever a significant amount of non-volatile, solid state storage is needed. Example applications include PDAs (personal digital assistants), laptop computers, digital audio players, digital cameras and mobile phones. It has also gained popularity in the game console market, where it is often used instead of EEPROMs or battery-powered SRAM for game save data.

Since flash memory is non-volatile, no power is needed to maintain the information stored in the chip. In addition, flash memory offers fast read access times (although not as fast as volatile DRAM memory used for main memory in PCs) and better kinetic shock resistance than hard disks. These characteristics explain the popularity of flash memory in portable devices. Another feature of flash memory is that when packaged in a "memory card," it is enormously durable, being able to withstand intense pressure, extremes of temperature, and even immersion in water.

Although technically a type of EEPROM, the term "EEPROM" is generally used to refer specifically to non-flash EEPROM which is erasable in small blocks, typically bytes. Because erase cycles are slow, the large block sizes used in flash memory erasing give it a significant speed advantage over old-style EEPROM when writing large amounts of data.

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