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Because of its small form factor, high capacity, and expected low cost, MEMS-based storage is a suitable storage technology for mobile systems. However, flash memory may outperform MEMS-based storage in terms of performance, and energy-efficiency. The problem is that MEMS-based storage devices have a large number (i.e., thousands) of heads, and to deliver peak performance, all heads must be deployed simultaneously to access each single sector. Since these devices are mechanical and thus some housekeeping information is needed for each head, this results in a huge capacity loss and increases the energy consumption of MEMS-based storage with respect to flash.
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