Since NAND flash is weakened by erase/write cycles then it would make sense to try to reduce those cycles to prolong the life of an SSD right? That’s what external data buffers are designed to do.
There are many ways to use RAM (either a RAM internal to the SSD controller chip or a discrete DRAM chip on the SSD’s printed circuit card) to stage data in a way that will reduce erase/write cycles.
One is to perform a function called “Write Coalescing.” This involves Continue reading “How Controllers Maximize SSD Life – External Data Buffering”
In this post we will explore how the right wear leveling algorithm can help a controller maximize the life of an SSD.
Wear leveling is a fact of life with NAND flash – blocks start to suffer bit failures after a certain number of erase/write cycles (usually specified from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands) and it is only natural that software will attempt to over-write some blocks more than others. In order to prevent this from causing failures, all of today’s SSD, USB flash drive, and flash card controllers incorporate some sort of wear leveling.
This is a simple re-mapping of the contents of the flash chips. A more graphical explanation is Continue reading “How Controllers Maximize SSD Life – Better Wear Leveling”
How do controllers maximize the life of an SSD? After all, MLC flash has a lifetime of only 10,000 erase/write cycles or fewer and that is a very small number compared to the write traffic an SSD is expected to see in a high-workload environment, especially in the enterprise. Still, MLC is becoming the norm in the enterprise.
How do they do that?
This is where SSD architects really earn their pay. There are eight basic techniques that The SSD Guy knows of to extend SSD life beyond Continue reading “How Controllers Maximize SSD Life”
Tom Coughlin and I are still seeking IT professional inputs for our 5-minute IOPS survey.
Please take a brief moment to share your thoughts on the importance of I/O in your system. It’s only 5 multiple-choice questions.
Click HERE and let us know what kind of storage performance you need. Even a hunch is good.
One popular argument to explain why SSDs have not displaced the HDDs in all PCs is that there isn’t enough NAND flash production capacity to support this business and there never can be.
This argument has been posed as long ago as 2007 by WD CEO John Coyne at an IDEMA conference (the source of this post’s graphic), SanDisk’s Eli Harari at the Flash Memory Summit in 2008, and Seagate‘s CEO Steve Luczo in a Forbes interview as recently as last April. These are captains of the industry. Their arguments make people stand up and take notice.
It’s a really flawed argument.
It goes like this: Continue reading “For the Lack of a Fab…”
Seagate today announced an investment and technology agreement with DensBits, an Israeli SSD controller company mentioned by The SSD Guy in another post.
According to the press release Seagate will use DensBits’ technology for “consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (“TLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (“MLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD.”
A pattern is starting to emerge. We understand that Seagate’s current Pulsar SSDs use chips from Link_A_Media (the subject of another recent post) which has only recently Continue reading “Seagate Invests in DensBits”
Only four days after announcing the company’s acquisition of Link_A_Media SK Hynix has announced its entry into the Client SSD market. The company’s new 2.5″ SATA III self-encrypting drive (SED) will ship in 128GB and 256 GB capacities and boasts serial read speeds of 510MB/s, writing at 470MB/s. Random 4kB performance is said to be 55k IOPS read and 85k IOPS write. It’s interesting that the write performance is higher than the read performance – not many SSDs perform this way.
Although this drive is said to be a client SSD, it supports end-to-end data protection, a feature more common to enterprise SSDs. More specifications are listed on SK Hynix’ SSD website. The benchmarks on this website are of particular interest, since SK Hynix claims Continue reading “SK Hynix Jumps into the SSD Market”
It’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume. To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort. It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.
The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th. Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed. Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!
But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two Continue reading “Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut”
RunCore has just introduced a wonderfully innovative new SSD feature that could create new problems for air travel.
From the company’s press release: “RunCore’s Xapear is a smart USB 2.0 connected SSD solution with RFID protection, allowing you to split your data into a freely accessible partition, and a hidden partition that only becomes accessible by applying a special RFID key to your SSD. Furthermore, the Xapear offers remote data destruction by simply sending an SMS over your GSM from your mobile device to the integrated GSM receiver, which then will immediately start Continue reading “The SSD You Can’t Fly With”
During Micron Technology‘s quarterly earnings call an interesting tidbit was revealed: PC OEMs and Micron’s sales channel partners are carrying SSD inventory from panic buys they made in response to Thailand’s floods.
It seems that Micron’s OEMs and channel partners expected the HDD shortage that resulted from the floods to create new market opportunities for SSDs. This is not an uncommon notion, and it was first discussed by The SSD Guy in a blog post early last November with another post added in January. It seems that the messages of these posts didn’t reach those OEMs.
Micron mentioned this because Continue reading “Micron: SSD Over-Inventory at OEMs & Channel”