New Flash Memory is 14x Faster, Lives 39% Longer

When it comes to phone specs most people are only concerned with how good the screen is, how fast the processor performs or the quality of the pictures the camera takes.  While all of these are important factors in a phone's performance in the short and long run, one measure of performance often gets forgotten: memory speeds.  When considering a less expensive phone one of the first cuts made often times is memory speed and quality, and this is often felt in stuttering and other factors that aren't always attributed to memory speeds by users.  Even in more expensive phones users might notice that their performance feels like it gets worse over time, and that's likely because it is getting slower.

Current flash memory technology has a life span like everything else on this big blue-green ball known as Earth, and the rate at which many use their phones throughout the day guarantees heavy memory usage.  We're not talking temporary RAM though where apps are constantly switched out, we're talking storage memory that's inside of every device you own.  This storage memory, known as flash memory, has a lifecycle of so many tens of thousands of reads and writes.  As the memory gets closer and closer to that end-of-life rating the performance degrades little by little, eventually making the device feel sluggish.  Researchers have been working on ways to avoid this or delay it, as there's no "cure" for the problem just yet, and the latest breakthrough in flash memory is showing a 14 times performance improvement as well as a 39% increased lifespan.

This new method called Write Ahead Logging Direct IO, or WALDIO for short, works by recording only the information necessary to show changes to the user.  In addition it records information in smaller batches in order to keep the number of used segments of memory down to a minimum, keeping sectors from having to be marked as dead over time.  What's particularly great here is that this will make cheaper memory faster, giving all users a speed and lifespan increase for their device no matter how much or little you prefer to spend on your latest smartphone or tablet.  When exactly we'll see this in consumer level devices isn't clear yet, but it's likely to happen pretty soon.

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About the Author
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Nick Sutrich

Event / Reviews Editor
Nick has written for Androidheadlines since 2013, is Review Editor for the site, and has traveled to many tech events across the world. His background is as Systems Administrator and overall technology enthusiast. Nick loves to review all kind of different devices but specializes in Android smartphones, smartphone camera reviews, and all things VR, both here on the site and on our YouTube channel. He is very passionate about smartphones and the continued improvement they can bring into people’s lives and is an expert on many different types of technologies, including mobile devices, VR, and cameras. Contact him at [email protected]