Consumer Electronics

How to Counter Counterfeit Flash Memory

07 May 2018

Is your new flash memory device really new? Can you determine if it’s a recycled chip? University of Alabama engineers can.

Their simple method is based on the relatively high voltages — about 20 volts — needed to program and erase flash. The more a cell is programmed and erased, the more defects will accumulate in the oxide. This leads to an increase in the amount of current that leaks through the transistor when it’s supposed to be off, and it also slows down the rate at which charge moves through the device. The result is a slowdown in the memory’s erase time as an indicator of a chip’s age.

The erase-time technique, which could allow an app on a smartphone to examine its own storage for recycled parts, was demonstrated to identify recycled flash with as little as three percent usage with 100 percent confidence.

More details on this method for countering counterfeit flash memory are available at IEEE Spectrum.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com


Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement