Finding Atmega328 EEPROM lifespan

Sometimes when you want to know things for real, you need to sacrifice something. This time it is an Atmega328 from Arduino. John Boxal from tronixstuff decided to find out the real number of EEPROM write/erase cycles. Atmel datasheet guarantees 100000 writes/erase cycles. So he sacrificed one AVR microcontroller and put it on a test. John put read and write cycles on a loop, so each EEPROM cell changes state each time. EEPROM test stops when at least one cell written value won’t match when read. So after a long test run, he got inspiring results – 1230163 cycles. This is a far bigger value than the datasheet gives. But keep in mind that the datasheet value is for all operating temperature ranges, which for given Atmega328P is from -55ºC to +125ºC. It would be nice to see some test results for one and other extreme temperatures. Continue reading