Q

Are NAND flash wear-out issues solved?

Dennis Martin of Demartek discusses whether NAND flash wear-out is still a concern in this Expert Answer.

We seem to be hearing less and less about flash wear-out. Has that problem been solved? Also, the SLC versus MLC

debate seems to be over. Does single-level cell still have a place in the storage marketplace?

I think they both have been solved. The manufacturers that make the flash are continually working on endurance and I think we are in a good state right now -- and we will continue to see even more improvement going forward.

And, SLC does have a place. It's faster, has better endurance, but of course it's more expensive. Storage vendors use MLC to get the price down. MLC is good enough for many applications, certainly on the consumer side, and now we are seeing it in the enterprise. There still is a need for SLC even though the manufacturers are downplaying it because of the costs.

Also, TLC flash is great for consumer devices. Now manufacturers are trying to increase the reliability of TLC to get it to a point where it will be useful in the enterprise.

This was first published in September 2013

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