But wait, it seems NOR still has some life left. Years after it was presumed gone and forgotten, many new embedded designs still include NOR in one form or other. In fact, a recent survey of OEMs by Datalight revealed that NOR is still the most used flash memory technology. Those who predicted NOR’s end-of-life years ago are having to rethink their assumptions. It appears the great NOR-NAND migration may be slowing, and has begun to level off. Here are six reasons why NOR will be around for a while:
1. The stability of NOR still can’t be beat for mission-critical applications. With its RAM-like interface, NOR guarantees good cells with high endurance rates well in excess of other flash types. Though it doesn’t require EDCs/ECCs (Error Detection and Correction Codes), they can easily be added to a NOR device for total system reliability.
2. Smaller die sizes and other advances in manufacturing are bringing down NOR’s cost-per-bit.
3. Increased emphasis on MCPs (multi-chip packages) give NOR users more storage at a lower cost/bit, while preserving its boot-friendly aspects.
4. NOR is often used in products with very long product lifecycles, extending its lifecycle for at least another 10 years.
5. Fusion technologies like ORNAND and MLC NOR are finding a niche by offering some of the benefits of both NAND and NOR.
6. MLC NAND cannot meet the power management requirements of many consumer mobile devices, such as handsets; NOR and SLC NAND will continue to prevail in these markets.
7. Many applications simply don’t need a ton of storage space!
So the NOR vs. NAND debate continues on, with many OEMs choosing the middle-ground MCP option. Managed NAND is also helping to ease the transition for an increasing number of manufacturers. Fact is, NAND’s higher density, low cost-per-bit attributes, combined with longer life expectancy and faster erase/re-writes will continue to drive adoption, particularly in the memory hungry consumer sector. And as device-stored data grows and becomes more critical to individuals and organizations, data storage software like Datalight is needed to manage the complexities of flash media and keep data safe from corruption. For more information on the NAND vs. NOR debate, the convergence of NAND and NOR, and how to manage some of the inherent problems with flash memory, we invite you to read the following whitepapers from our library.