We rely on electronic memory all of the time: when we download music and then upload it to our smartphones and iPods, when we save documents on our computer or transfer them to a different folder, or when we rearrange our apps on our iPhone. We usually don’t save our information to our hard drive so that we don’t bog it down with all of our information that doesn’t need to be there (like pictures of our dog.) That is where flash memory comes in to play. Flash memory is a type of electronic memory that is usually used for quick and easy information storage and transfer.
Flash memory is found in computers, phones, cameras, game consoles, and anything else that has “storage” or “memory.” Flash is used as a hard drive to store information and is referred to as a solid state drive. Solid state is just a fancy way of saying that no moving parts are required for this to type of memory to work and that it is completely and totally electronic.
This means that there is no needs for any loud fans to help cool it down, it is faster when transferring data, and it can be formatted to be extremely small and light. Since it is entirely electronic, it can be programmed and erased electronically.
Flash works using a type of transistor that doesn’t require power (remember, it is totally electronic, which means that it still holds information when the power isn’t on). A transistor is kind of like a pipe that allows electricity to flow through it. One end of the pipe is where the electricity enters and the other end is where it exits. The entrance is called the source, and the exit is called the drain. In-between the source and the drain are two gates. When the electricity flows through, the gates are open.
When the electricity stops flowing, the gates close and trap the remaining electricity between each other. This trapped electricity allows the flash memory to store information without having a power source, and it is the same reason that you can go months without plugging in a memory stick or an SD card and yet all of your information is still there!
With the ever-growing demand for flash memory, providers of device programming like ProEx have added automated production programmers to handle the immense amount of programming demands for flash memory. If you want to learn more, click here to read about ProEx.