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Difference between NAND Flash and NOR Flash Memory

This page compares NAND Flash vs NOR Flash Memory and mentions difference between NAND Flash and NOR Flash Memory architectures.

NAND Flash Memory Architecture

NAND Flash Architecture
Image courtesy : Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (Now part of Infineon Technologies)

The figure-2 depicts architecture of NAND flash memory. As shown, several memory cells (about eight) are connected in series. This resembles NAND gate.
Advantages : It offers much small cell size. It offers high write speed and erase speed.
Disadvantages : It offers slow read speed. It does not allow random access.

NOR Flash Memory Architecture

NOR Flash Architecture
Image courtesy : Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (Now part of Infineon Technologies)

The figure-2 depicts architecture of NOR flash memory. As shown, one end of cell is interfaced to source line and other end to bit line. This resembles NOR gate.
Advantages : It offers enough address lines useful to map complete memory range. It provides faster random read speed.
Disadvantages : It offers higher cost per bit, slower write speed and slower erase speed.

Difference between NAND Flash and NOR Flash Memory

Following table mentions difference between NAND Flash and NOR Flash memory types.

Features NAND Flash NOR Flash
• Capacity Higher Lower
• Cost per bit Lower Higher
• Random read speed Slow Fast
• Write speed Fast Slow
• Erase speed Fast Slow
• Power on current Lower Higher
• Standby current Higher Lower
• Bit flipping More common Less common
• Data retention Low (~10 years) Very high (~20 years for 1K program erase cycles)
• Application Data storage Code storage and execution
• Example S34ML04G2 (Cypress Semiconductor Corp. which is now part of Infineon) S70GL02GT (Cypress Semiconductor is now part of Infineon)


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