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Efficient Wear Leveling in NAND Flash Memory

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Inside Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Part of the book series: Springer Series in Advanced Microelectronics ((MICROELECTR.,volume 37))

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Abstract

In the recent years, flash storage devices such as solid-state drives (SSDs) and flash cards have become a popular choice for the replacement of hard disk drives, especially in the applications of mobile computing devices and consumer electronics. However, the physical constraints of flash memory pose a lifetime limitation on these storage devices. New technologies for ultra-high density flash memory such as multilevel-cell (MLC ) flash further degrade flash endurance and worsen this lifetime concern. As a result, flash storage devices may experience a unexpectedly short lifespan, especially when accessing these devices with high frequencies. In order to enhance the endurance of flash storage device, various wear leveling algorithms are proposed to evenly erase blocks of the flash memory so as to prevent wearing out any block excessively. In this chapter, various existing wear leveling algorithms are investigated to point out their design issues and potential problems. Based on this investigation, two efficient wear leveling algorithms (i .e., the evenness-aware algorithm and dual-pool algorithm) are presented to solve the problems of the existing algorithms with the considerations of the limited computing power and memory space in flash storage devices. The evenness-aware algorithm maintains a bit array to keep track of the distribution of block erases to prevent any cold data from staying in any block for a long period of time. The dual-pool algorithm maintains one hot pool and one cold pool to maintain the blocks that store hot data and cold data , respectively, and the excessively erased blocks in the hot pool are exchanged with the rarely erased blocks in the cold pool to prevent any block from being erased excessively. In this chapter, a series of explanations and analyses shows that these two wear leveling algorithms could evenly distribute block erases to the whole flash memory to enhance the endurance of flash memory.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In this chapter, we consider NAND flash memory, which is the most widely adopted flash memory in storage-system designs.

  2. 2.

    A logical disk is also referred to as a logical unit (i .e., LUN) [30].

  3. 3.

    The scanning is read-only and does not affect wear leveling. Previous research has developed excellent methods for reducing the time overhead of this scanning. Refer to [19, 21] for details.

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Correspondence to Yuan-Hao Chang .

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Chang, YH., Chang, LP. (2018). Efficient Wear Leveling in NAND Flash Memory. In: Micheloni, R., Marelli, A., Eshghi, K. (eds) Inside Solid State Drives (SSDs). Springer Series in Advanced Microelectronics, vol 37. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0599-3_10

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