[NTLK] flash longevity question

Alan Grassia alan.grassia at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 04:04:13 PDT 2022

Hello Dan and Newton Friends,

I recalled running across an article about this a while ago.  I found the article I read from 2015, which specifically talked about long-term SSD storage media.

Solid-state drives lose data if left without power for just a few days

The article links to a presentation by Alvin Cox (Seagate) given at a JEDEC event.

JEDEC SSD Specifications Explained
Alvin Cox, Seagate Chairman, JC-64.8

It is an interesting read, but I don't think I have read any follow up articles or research in my work as an IT manager.  I do not have a good explanation for why we aren't seeing more discussion of this topic in the wider IT and technology circles.

That said, I pulled out my OMP and my Newton MessagePad 2000.  Both seemed to be working normally.

Once I plugged in power, the OMP came to life and I was able to use the Intel storage card to restore the last backup I made.  I restarted the OMP and it seemed to be working with a few minutes of poking around.  The MessagePad 2000 started up normally and all of the data in the device was still there.  It has been about a 9-12 months since I last used them. (They generally come out around iPhone launch day.)

I wouldn't call my test extensive by any stretch of the imagination, but antidotally, both of these Newtons appear fine for now.  Still, machines break - eventually - and I'm glad we have things like the Einstein emulator to keep things going when hardware fails.

Alan Grassia
OMP, MP2000, MP2100, eMate 300
Website: http://blog.smartphonefanatics.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alanmgrassia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alangrassia

On 9/12/22, 10:16 PM, "NewtonTalk on behalf of Dan" <newtontalk-bounces at newtontalk.net on behalf of dan at dbdigitalweb.com> wrote:

    Hi all,
    I always thought that while flash had a limited number of write cycles, the actual data storage was pretty reliable.  But recently I have run across several papers that say long term storage isn't a good idea and will eventually fade away (giving a general time frame of 10 years).    Never heard of that before, and we have often talked here how a "newton never forgets" after being in a drawer for over a decade and everything is still intact as the day we put it there.

    Is this situation with flash something that has recently been found out?  Or is it the newer flash chips have such extreme density that they deteriorate in 10 years?  Such as MLC or even TLC vs SLC.   

    So far all my cards still have all their data and are functioning fine.



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