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Flash memory wears out, eventually


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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2013 10:34:16 AM PDT
Signalman says:
My KF HD has 32GB of flash memory for storage and 1GB for RAM. Using this device an average of 2 hrs per day, I'm wondering how long it would take before the flash memory wears out.

Anyone have a guess?

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 10:37:37 AM PDT
I would guess by the time anything on the device "wears out" you'll be ready for a new device. How long do you plan to keep it?

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 10:42:07 AM PDT
Signalman says:
Until I have to replace it. My question is based on research indicating that solid state flash memory does have a limited number of cycles and that this is affected, in part, by the quality of the memory used.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 10:43:46 AM PDT
Dragi Raos says:
Signalman, these are not the early days of flash memory technology. Nowadays people use solid state disks for * paging devices*, for crying out loud...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 10:44:03 AM PDT
Well, the battery will probably wear out first. If you use the Fire daily, I would guess they battery will stop being able to be recharged after 3-4 years.

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 10:47:52 AM PDT
Signalman says:
I would suspect that it's possible to self-replace the battery on the KF HD since I did it for my kindle keyboard e-reader.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 11:07:50 AM PDT
Erich says:
"Anyone have a guess?"

More than 100 years.

Seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 11:10:46 AM PDT
Cinisajoy says:
I would be more worried about battery power. And filling up the memory card rather than when it will wear out.

Now as far as memory wearing out, I think that starts when you either have kids or when they get grown, or it might be when your parents retire. But I really don't remember.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 11:16:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2013 11:21:32 AM PDT
B. Marks says:
I got my first Flash device, a 5 meg Sandisk PCMCIA card, sometime in the early 1990's not long after I got my HP 100lx. I still have that flash card in the 100lx. It was heavily used every day for about a decade. It's still used several times a week.

It came with a wear leveling program that only runs on the 100lx. These days wear levelling is handled by the Flash controller. I run it about once a year and it tests the Flash and for each block (64k if I remember right) if it finds a block wearing out it substitutes another block. It has spare blocks built in for just that purpose. So far it's never found a block slow enough to have to replace it.

Flash memory wears out by taking too long to write to it. When a block gets too slow the wear levelling happens and that block is replaced by a spare block. Also heavily used blocks are occasionally swapped with lightly used blocks so they'll wear evenly.

Flash manufacturers estimate that the Flash memory in an SSD used in a Windows computer for a boot disk, the heaviest use there is, most of the time, should wear out in about 100 years. It is possible to use an SSD in such a way as to force it to wear out much faster but firmware prevents this.

So my suggestion is don't buy anything with Flash memory unless you're willing to accept 100 years as it's maximum lifespan. :)

By the way, the boot drive (C:) on that HP100lx is also flash memory and it never got wear levelled and it's been used much more heavily than that PCMCIA card and it still works fine.

[Edit] I just realized I was mistaken about the C: drive being Flash. It's actually SRAM. Sorry about that.[/Edit]

Barry

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 12:14:20 PM PDT
Signalman says: "My KF HD has 32GB of flash memory for storage and 1GB for RAM. Using this device an average of 2 hrs per day, I'm wondering how long it would take before the flash memory wears out"

I just did some poking around to see the endurance of modern Flash memory. Between numbers TI has given and some papers on testing that's been done it seems that you are looking at a good 100 years of data retention (how long something you put on it will be readable based on time) and 80 to 100+ years of real world use (time till the the drive itself fails due to read/writes). So it looks like you are good to go.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 12:55:51 PM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I have built all of my computers over the last few years and several of my computers lasted at least 5 or 6 years and I have never had any flash memory fail.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 2:11:36 PM PDT
Just Peachy says:
But what if I want my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren to read my Kindle books? Huh? Huh? What THEN!?

/sarcasm off

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 2:14:35 PM PDT
Cinisajoy says:
Well then I guess you best leave the password to the account where they can find it and have the great great great great grandchild buy a new kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 2:29:22 PM PDT
I expect by then that reading will be a thing of the past and everyone will have some sort of re-writable memory hard-wired into their brains. The material will be scanned directly onto your retinas.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 3:18:24 PM PDT
Erich says:
I'm working on placing a USB port in to the human brain-stem.

So far animal experiments have been... sub-optimal.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 4:16:39 PM PDT
The Blade says:
>>>>"I'm working on placing a USB port in to the human brain-stem."<<<<

Eh. Advertisers have found ways to input data directly into the brain-stem of most of the population already. Just need to figure out how to break through to the rest of us. Wireless technology, if you will...

;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:01:34 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
>>>>"Advertisers have found ways to input data directly into the brain-stem of most of the population already"

So have politicians.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:52:46 PM PDT
The Blade says:
Lol! Indeed.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 5:31:53 AM PDT
B. Marks says:
"But what if I want my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren to read my Kindle books? Huh? Huh? What THEN!?"

I realize you're joking but that really is one of the down-sides of ebooks. What if you want to listen to some music on a cassette you bought 10 years ago. Do you have a player? If not you can get one easily enough. You can even get a phonograph if you have some old records. But what if you want to access some old files on a Commodore 64 from the '80s? Could you do it? It's not impossible but it's not easily done today. In another decade it might not be possible.

Digital media keeps changing and when something goes out of style it can be harder and harder to find a way to access it.

I suspect with something as universal as books and music the best and most popular will be moved to new media but what are the chances of getting to the more obscure stuff?

Barry

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 5:39:59 AM PDT
As long as you have the ebook files, someone will figure out how to convert them in to whatever the format is in the future.

But, how many of us really have books or music that our parent's or grandparents listened to? I have just a handful of books from my parents, and not one shred of music. I can't see my kids or grandkids wanting 90% of the Kindle books on my account right now. They have their own stuff.

And for the record, they are turntables, not phonographs. ;)

My oldest son has a really nice one, and currently gets a lot of his music on vinyl. I miss vinyl...I just bought Neil Young's "American Stars & Bars" in MP3 version, but can't wait to listen to the record. My son has it. He's 32. "Hurricane" really should be played on a turntable.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 7:59:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2013 8:02:00 AM PDT
Erich says:
" But what if you want to access some old files on a Commodore 64 from the '80s? Could you do it? It's not impossible but it's not easily done today. "

Google is your friend. Took me about 5 seconds to find this:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fileextensions/f/c64file.htm

Also, there's still a thriving market for vinyl records and "phonographs" (turntables). Amazon sells them, both the hardware and the records:

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_353159402_6?ie=UTF8&node=3003611&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-2&pf_rd_r=0710C7W53EXX2GG98HTX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1413152082&pf_rd_i=667846011

http://www.amazon.com/Vinyl-Records-Albums-LPs-Eps/b/ref=mun_bb_vinyldeals?ie=UTF8&node=372989011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=browse&pf_rd_r=1CC3HW2YP9D07BKJ1164&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1532330402&pf_rd_i=5174

I'm seriously considering setting up a turntable on my home stereo. Many of the older classic rock albums I love sound so much better on vinyl.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 8:22:17 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
I just gave away a stack of odd music albums that my father had. Liberace, Lawrence Welk, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 8:24:10 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
Anyone have a reel-to-reel tape player? Can you still buy them new?
My parents had some stuff recorded on big tape reels. We do still have the slide projector. I don't know what happened to the movie projector to show those old home movies from 50 years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 8:27:23 AM PDT
If I had a book that I wanted to pass down through the generations I would purchase it in hardcover. None of the books I have on my Kindle are those types of books. Well that's not exactly true. I do have a few books on my Kindle that I also have in paper format.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 8:38:54 AM PDT
Mary Jane says:
I think it would be difficult to buy a reel to reel brand new. You could probably find one used. What a lot of people are doing these days is sending their old videos into places that can transform them into DVD's or whatever current format you desire. My BIL used to have a business doing that.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Apr 11, 2013
Latest post:  Apr 14, 2013

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