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Read-only flash?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was just lounging around being lazy, and I this stupid question popped into my head. Is there a such thing as read-only flash memory? I thought to myself: if CDs are cheaper when they're read-only, is flash memory cheaper this way as well? Is there a way to manufacture read-only flash drives (USB or something else...with a new kind of reader) in the same way that CDs are "pressed"?

I know that there are albums coming out on flash memory...so is it worth it? Can you write over the albums with different data? I hope I'm not asking ridiculous questions...but I've gotten myself really curious. Anyone know if any of this is possible?
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Creeping Death
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post #2 of 5
Technologically speaking, its absolutely possible. It would be a simple matter of locking out the write signals to the flash banks, meaning that if a controller tried to write, it would not take.
NAND flash has become so cheap now, that it would not be absurd to sell certain content on flash drives (which have locked out write capability to make sure you dont erase what you bought). I'm not sure what the application would be. One thought would be music, but DRM aging mechanisms in the song itself already take care of subscription based models.
The idea is not really absurd. Think of floppy disks on which content was purchased, but were read only.
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post #3 of 5
there are certainly flash memory drives which have the write protocols already removed. for example, some linux distros are purchaseable where they are already installed ona flash memory drive, and the device is already bootable. you cannot write new data to the drive (the company will usually use a "read-only" protocol to prevent against accidentally destroying the function of the drive being a boot disk) and the only function of the drive is to boot that specific data (in this case, a linux distro.)
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post #4 of 5
It would cost too much money to develop for the slim price savings, plus the fact nobody would want it. Would you want 1 time flash?? I would be willing to pay the extra 5% or so to make it write 10,000+ times, wouldn't you? That is why it will never be made. All "read ony" flash is read/write flash that is software locked to not write again.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
So there's no way to store readable data onto flash memory without using USB or something? That was my main idea. If there's no such thing as "pressing" data onto flash memory like onto a CD, then of course there's no reason to do this.
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