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The reliability (endurance and retention) of tunnel oxide (grown and deposited oxide) of 3-D-SONOS devices is compared. Devices with grown tunnel oxide show better initial oxide quality, better fresh retention, and more robust endurance characteristics. Both devices show similar cycling degradation trend. The worse postcycling retention is due to tunnel oxide degradation leading to a fast initial loss of charge stored in generated tunnel oxide defects and a higher trap-assisted tunneling rate.