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TM4C123FE6PM: Flash Lifetime / Endurance. what happens at the end

Part Number: TM4C123FE6PM

I have read this thread: Non Volatile Memory Lifetime / Endurance
what will happen at the end? is the data retention just get lower and lower but it is still function?

I have an application where I use the flash basically as extra temp buffer since the RAM is limit. I need to write to it more that 100K per day. what will happen after a year? will it still retain the data for a few minutes while it has the power connected?


  • Flash memory is not suitable for 100K write erase cycles per day. There are different fail modes, but what would likely happen first is that the flash would fail to erase. Notice in the specification that the specified erase time increases as you approach 100K cycles. During erase electrons are forced off of the floating gate through the erase oxide. Eventually some electrons get caught in the oxide or at the the oxide interface. This then makes subsequent erase harder. Eventually, you will not be able to get some of the programmed bits (0's) to erase (turn into 1's). 

    The other fail mechanism is that electrons can get caught in the read/program oxide. There they can be a stepping stone to allow electrons on the floating gate to leak out. This is called Data Retention Loss (DRL). The flash bits on this part are good at avoiding DRL so the erase failure is likely to be how your parts fail.

    Note that erase and program are analog functions, not digital. It is not sufficient that you read  flash that failed erase and see that it reads as 1's. A poorly erased flash bit (or poorly programmed flash bit) can be at the tripping point between a one and a zero. It might read correctly one time, and not the next.