NOR vs NAND: Those are basically the two options facing IT managers when it comes to selecting the appropriate memory technology for flash storage.
So notes tech writer John Edwards, who recently consulted with a number of experts to help IT managers understand exactly what’s involved with these options.
"The application requirements will ultimately dictate the right solution," said Richard De Caro, NOR flash product line director for Micron Technology Inc.
For example, observed Alex Lesser, executive vice president at supercomputing solutions provider PSSC Labs, NOR flash offers faster read speed and random access capabilities than NAND flash memory, which makes the technology highly suitable for code storage in devices such as PDAs and mobile phones. On the other hand, ”[NOR is] not a good choice for high-performance computing solutions," he said. "Also, NOR's write and erase functions are slow compared to NAND.”
Meanwhile, Richard Leonarz, Samsung's director of marketing for memory and storage, argues that using either NOR vs. NAND flash memory for general-purpose, storage-based applications is prohibitively expensive and generally leads to slow performance.
"Anything beyond code storage is bound to create latency issues," he said.
Using NAND technology in code storage applications, on the other hand, would be costly and overkill. NAND is most commonly used in SSDs for consumer and enterprise PCs, servers, and notebooks. The benefits of NAND flash memory include higher densities, sequential writes and faster erase times, Leonarz said.
Finally, says Edwards, experts predict that NAND will continue to over the next several years, continuing to offer higher capacity products with a lower cost per bit over time.