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In ST NAND Flash memories each physical block can be programmed or erased reliably over 100,000 times. For write-intensive applications, it is recommended to implement a Wear Leveling Algorithm to monitor and spread the number of write cycles per block.
Wear levelling is implemented in the Flash Translation Layer which is the additional software layer be- tween the File System and the NAND Flash memory (see Figure 1.A). The Flash Translation Layer allows operating systems to read and write to NAND Flash memory devices in the same way as disk drives and provides the translation from virtual to physical addresses.
Refer to Table 1. for the full list of NAND Flash memories covered by this Application Note and for further information refer to the NANDxxx-A 528 Byte/ 264 Word Page datasheet and to the NANDxxx-B, 2112 Byte/ 1056 Word page datasheet.
In a system with a FAT (File Allocation Table) based File System, the FAT table is always stored in the same virtual blocks. Frequent FAT table updates are required during data write operations, which implies frequent erase cycles on the same physical blocks, hence a reduced NAND Flash lifetime.
Wear Leveling extends the lifetime of NAND Flash devices because it ensures that even if an application writes to the same virtual blocks over and over again, the program/erase cycles will be distributed evenly over the NAND Flash memory.
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