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Is the lifespan of MLC really only 3000 times as the manufacturer claims? - Importance of original chip testing


Generally speaking, MLC technology 3000 P/E cycle life is the industry consensus. So, can each block of MLC really be erased 3000 times? Can it be more than 3000 times? 

This article explains the importance of flash memory chip testing with practical tests.

To save your time, let’s talk about the conclusion first. For those who want to know the detailed test method, please slowly scroll down.

Test conclusion:

1. The nominal life of MLC is 3000 times. After actual testing, some Blocks can exceed 20,000 times;

2. Each Block is an independent individual, and the initial status of each Block is not exactly the same, although it is the same production line and the same process;

3. No matter the original Nand Flash or the non-original Nand Flash, there is a need for testing, and the flash memory can be classified into different grades through the test;

4. For the same flash memory chip, the health of each Block is different, and each Block can be regarded as an independent individual;

5. The real lifespan of flash memory may be much greater than the manufacturer's claim, and only when it is truly tested can the greater value of flash memory be brought into play;

6. Deeply understand the life performance of flash memory in different P/E stages, and better plan ECC (Error Correcting Code) in order to ensure that the product is fault-free during the warranty period;

7. For users who want to convert MLC to SLC at a certain stage, when to start the conversion is crucial, and the P/E corresponding to RBER (Residual Bit Error Rate) is the most important reference method.

Illustration of the overall correlation between P/E and bit error rate

Partially enlarged illustration

Test time: 108 hours and 45 minutes

Renice Nand Flash Tester

Test Methods:

1. The selected block has discrete distribution and adjacent distribution (2, 3, 1050, 1051);

2. Each Block and each Page in the Block uses different pseudo-random numbers;

3. The next P/E automatically adds 1 to the previous pseudo-random, ensuring that the pseudo-random number written this time is completely different from the last time;

4. Record the total number of bit errors every 20 P/E Cycles;

5. The time interval between Erase and Program is 0;

6. The data records a total of 22960 P/E corresponding bitErrors (20*1148=22960), which takes 108 hours and 45 minutes;

7. Tested with 3000 P/E cycle Intel MLC;

8. Worksheets are named in decimal, such as: Block3103 stands for Block 3103 (0C1F).

For more SSD technology and MLC & SLC SSD products, please visit Renice's website.

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