Flash Memory : Basic Overview Of File System For Flash Memory
5. Flash File Systems
Because of the particular characteristics of flash memory, it is best used with specifically designed file systems which spread writes over the media and deal with the long erase times of NOR flash blocks. The basic concept behind flash file systems is: When the flash store is to be updated, the file system will write a new copy of the changed data over to a fresh block, remap the file pointers, then erase the old block later when it has time.
One of the earliest flash file systems was Microsoft's FFS2 (presumably preceded by FFS1), for use with MS-DOS in the early 1990s. Around 1994, the PCMCIA industry group approved the FTL (Flash Translation Layer) specification, which allowed a flash device to look like a FAT disk, but still have effective wear levelling. Other commercial systems such as FlashFX by Datalight were created to avoid patent concerns with FTL.