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May 30, 2014

Japanese researchers boost SSD speed by 300%

Big number gains claimed for read and write while and erase cycles more than halved.

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers from Faculty of Science and Engineering of Chuo University claimed to have developed a new method which will quadruple the speed of solid-state drives (SSDs).

The research team led by professor of Department of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering of the university presented their finding at the 2014 IEEE International Memory Workshop (IMW), in Taipei.

In their paper, "NAND Flash Aware Data Management System for High-Speed SSDs by Garbage Collection Overhead Suppression," the researchers claimed that they have developed a new way of garbage collection during writing which can drastically improve the writing speed, power efficiency and cycling capability of a storage device.

Writing data to NAND flash is a slow process of erasing and writing and it is not possible to overwrite data in same area. The process requires the data to be written on different area each time and invalidate the old areas.

Consequently, the Flash memories undertake a ‘garbage collection’ exercise arranging the fragmented data continuously, and the process of garbage collection takes longer time.

In order to address the time taken for garbage collection process, the team has improved the middleware which controls the storage device.

The middleware called logical block address (LBA) scrambler between the file system (OS) and flash translation layer (FTL), which works concurrently with FTL.

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It helps in converting the logical addresses being written to minimise the impact of fragmentation process.

The breakthrough claimed to help the data being written on a fragmented page located in the block to be erased next, maximising the writing process.

The process claimed to increase the writing speed by 300% and minimise the power requirement of writing process by up to 60% and cut down the number of write/erase cycles by up to 55%, the researchers claimed.

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