Flash memory is becoming a primary technology used in storage devices and so has become immensely popular. For all those who are in an opinion that all flash memory storage forms are one and only same, here is an analysis which will break your assumption.
Flash memory is a type of non-volatile memory which can be erased electronically and rewritten. Here the term non-volatile means that data can be retained even in the absence of power to the device. Flash memory based media do not have moving parts in them as they are made up of integrated circuits which make flash memory storage more durable and shock resistant than the other storage media counterparts like hard disks.
Two such flash memory based storage forms are Solid State Drives and Memory cards. In order to know the difference in between a Solid State Drive and a Memory card, let us get into some technical details.
It is a fact that both these storage media use NAND flash memory as a common interface, but not of the same kind. Memory cards use multilevel cell memory, while SSDs use single level cell memory. The MLC memory used in memory cards and USB drives has the ability to store 2 bits of data for every cell. Some hybrid SSDs are also using MLC memory in order to cater to higher storage needs. SLC memory offers high endurance than MLC memory.
The read/write capabilities of Multilevel Cell Memory are up to 5000 times, while SLC offers R/W cycles reaching 50,000 figures. Now, both the memory capabilities have increased further due to technological developments. Due to the presence of controllers in SSD drives the support for wear leveling is also high in Read/write operations. The presence of native-command queuing optimization of read/write requests can be monitored by BIOS in real time, in order to phase out the potential anomalies of problems.
Solid State Drive (SSD)- A Solid State Drive uses flash memory in order to store data. They are designed specifically to be used in PCs, Notebooks and Tablets. Solid State Drives can be used as internal and external storage devices. The data transfer rate is faster than hard disk drives and the access time is around 0.1ms, which is almost 80 times faster than HDDs. Since, SSDs consume less energy and generate less heat they are considered as best among the storage media. But the failure rate of hard drives is much better, when compared to Solid State drives.
Memory Cards- Memory cards also use flash memory and allow users to store digital photos, music or video files. They are used as removable flash memory devices and can be slot-in into computers, mobile devices and card readers. A Memory card storage range starts from 512MB and can be available 100GB. Compact flash, microSD cards, MicroSDHC, Memory sticks, memory stick micro, secure digital high capacity (SDHC) and Secure Digital (SD) cards are some of the different forms of Memory cards.