data storage – NAND vs NOR flash memory

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Data Storage device NAND Vs NOR Flash MemoryLearn what is data storage device types: NAND and NOR flash memory? Both types are widely used in their own fields. NAND is being most widely used flash drive in server, laptop, PC. and NOR are most widely used in a portable device like a mobile, smartphone, handheld device, camera, etc.

1. Overview of data storage devices

There are two main data storage devices in flash memory NAND and NOR flash memory. There are different types of SSD(Solid State Device) Flash memory in the data storage device and networking world. And both types are most frequently used in different sectors in different domains. But after comparison, you can find NAND flash memory is a widely used flash memory. The reason, why NAND flash being used widely is mentioned in a later section of this post, so requesting you read from the beginning to understand well.

All your cell phones or portable devices contain SSD with NOR flash memory. Why so? this is mentioned in a later section of this post.

If you do not know about basic of SSD Flash Memory you can visit our another post : Know about your SSD (Solid State Drive) Memory . if you would like to know about basic of different drive you visit types of Flash Memory. for in-depth understanding, you can read one of the famous book in the field of data storage and networking as: Data Storage and networking by Nigel Poulton

2. Comparison of NAND and NOR Flash Memory

 NAND flash memoryNOR Flash memory
Cost per bit Low,High
Write SpeedHighLow
Read SpeedMediumHigh
Code ExecutionHardEasy
Active Power Low,High
Stand by Power Low Medium
file storage useEasysome how hard

Summary of above comparison as:

  • Cost-per bit: NAND flash memory has low cost per bit compared to NOR.
  • Capacity: NAND flash has high density and capacity compared to NOR.
  • File storage usage: usage of file storage is easy in NAND device and hard in NOR, this may be the reason of widely used flash drive.
  • code of execution: code of execution is easy in NOR and hard in NAND , that is why , in portable device its easily used to execute.
  • read speed: read speed is faster in NOR flash that is why its being used in portable device.
  • Write speed: write speed faster in NAND flash device.
  • Consumption of Power: Power consumption in NOR is less and read is faster that

3. Why NAND flash memory is being used most widely?

NAND is most widely used flash memory because of few reasons:

  • low cost per bit of storage
  • NAND flash has high capacity and high density compared with NOR
  • storage of file is easy

4. Why NOR flash memory used in Portable devices?

NOR Flash memory is being used in portable devices like mobile, smart phone, palmtop, tab, handy devices etc due to following reasons or you can say following are the main reason.

  • execution of code directly in NOR flash memory is very easy and hard in NAND flash memory
  • Faster read: read is faster in NOR
  • consumes less power: consumption of power in NOR flash memory is less compared to NAND

on average if you observed carefully, read and write ration in any application is 80:20 approx. So in portable devices read operation is more that the write.

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5. Power consumption of different drive

Power consumption of different drive of device

Device NameApproximate Power consumption
DRAM DIMM module (1GB)5W
HDD with 15000 RPM drive17.2 W
HDD - 7200 RPM drive (750GB) 12.5W
SSD High performance flash (128 GB)2W

If you carefully observed this table you can find power consumption in SSD flash memory is less compared with DRAM, HDD. Dynamic RAM (DRAM) is much cheaper as compared to static RAM.

In Static RAM 4-5 transistors required to store data whereas in dynamic RAM only a single transistor required to store data in an SSD storage device. Due to cost DRAM is more widely used and cost-effective.

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