Design and implementation of a uniformity-improving page allocation scheme for flash-based storage systems


Flash memory is being actively employed in a variety of embedded systems such as digital cameras, MP3 players, cell phones, solid state disks (SSDs), and digital media broadcasting (DMB) devices. This paper considers performance issues in file systems that employ Flash memory as a storage medium. Firstly, it explores the characteristics of Flash memory and identifies the cost of block cleaning as the key performance bottleneck for Flash memory analogous to the seek time in disk storage. Then, it defines three performance parameters, namely, utilization, invalidity, and uniformity and derives a formula for block cleaning cost based on these parameters. It is shown that, of these parameters, uniformity exerts the strongest influence on the cost of cleaning and that uniformity is a file system controllable parameter. Finally, we design a uniformity-aware page allocation scheme and analyze how enhanced uniformity affects the block cleaning cost with various workloads. Real implementation experiments conducted on an embedded system show that the scheme proposed here typically reduces the cleaning time by 20 to 30% compared to the traditional sequential allocation scheme that is used in YAFFS.

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Correspondence to Jongmoo Choi.

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An earlier version of this paper appeared in the ACM Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded Software (EMSOFT), 2007.

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Baek, S., Choi, J., Ahn, S. et al. Design and implementation of a uniformity-improving page allocation scheme for flash-based storage systems. Des Autom Embed Syst 13, 5–25 (2009).

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  • Flash memory
  • File system
  • Modeling
  • Uniformity
  • Implementation
  • Performance Evaluation