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Sunday, September 7, 2008

USB flash memory FACTS

USB type keys are technically limited to 100k writes before failure!!
How many times or how long can you use this device before wearing out the key?
Fencepost *
on October 21 2004, @03:21PM (#10590941)

The limitation on the number of writes to a particular area of memory has been known since flash memory first started to appear. Most devices or drivers should account for the issue by either rotating writes to avoid overusing one particular region or by remapping failing sections into other areas.
Remapping failing areas will cause the available capacity of formatted flash devices to gradually shrink, while rotating writes will attempt to keep any areas from wearing out too fast (making it more likely that multiple areas will start to fail around the same time).
Someone who's done more looking into this should be able to give a good idea which technique(s) are most widely used.

Well, if you set up a RAM disk and only store personal settings on the USB key -- then I suspect that it would last for quite some time. If you don't care about saving settings, then you can boot off the key as a read-only media and never write back to it. So I don't think this would be a major concern.

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