Solid State Drive Technology and Applications: A Primer

  • ID: 2037421
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 90 Pages
  • Forward Insights
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Solid State Drive Technology and Applications: A Primer is an ideal guide for novices interested in acquiring a basic understanding of SSD technology and applications as well as a handy reference for more experienced professionals. The report provides a detailed overview of the technology, architecture and reliability of SSDs as well as techniques for improving the performance and endurance.

The advantages and disadvantages of SSDs versus HDDs in PCs and enterprise computing are examined along with an analysis of enterprise applications appropriate for SSD technology. The report also provides an overview of the competitive landscape for SSDs and relevant industry standards.

INTRODUCTION

In the January 2006 issue of IEEE Spectrum, the solid state drives being developed by Samsung were declared a “Loser: Too Little, Too Soon”. The article argued that SSDs were too expensive at $45/GB and that HDDs outclassed SSDs in performance. What a difference 2.5 years makes. A MLC NAND chip is now priced at $1.30/GB, sequential read and write performance is approaching SATA interface speeds and random performance is at least an order of magnitude better than HDDs for the best SSDs.

During this time, NAND flash vendors, flash card suppliers, controller makers and startups have piled into the market. Even HDD vendors are being forced to react to the stampede by developing their own SSD offerings. In all, there are may be eighty companies either offering or planning to offer SSD products.

Labeled the next killer application by NAND flash vendors hoping to create demand to soak up the additional supply coming from their megafabs, initial expectations were high. However, when the initial generation of products for PCs in 2006/7 failed to live up to expectations, 2008 was to be the year when the hockey stick ramp of SSD adoption is supposed to occur with the advent of lower cost MLC SSDs. 2008 passed and still no hockey stick. It is now 2011 and with Apple’s MacBook Air leading the way, SSDs are now on the verge of accelerated growth. In the enterprise, SSDs have already gained traction due to the attractive total cost of ownership profile.

To understand the market potential of SSDs, it is helpful first to understand the fundamentals of the technology to understand its potential. This report provides an explanation of SSD technology, architecture and reliability and elaborates on the advantages and disadvantages of SSDs versus HDDs.
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CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

INTRODUCTION

NAND FLASH MEMORY OVERVIEW

NAND Flash
Concept
Technology Evolution
NAND Flash Architecture
NAND Flash Density Trend
Page Size Trend
Block Size Trend
Read Time
Program Time
Endurance
Retention

SOLID STATE DRIVES

What is a solid state drive?

The Memory Hierarchy

SSD Overview

SSD Architecture

Controller
Flash Translation Layer
Mapping Schemes
Bad Block Management
Wear-leveling
Garbage Collection
Error Correction
Interleaving
Power Loss Protection

Techniques for Improving SSD Performance/Endurance
Caching
Flash File System Optimization
Parallelism
Flash Bus Width
Over-provisioning
Improved NAND Flash Memory
Re-mapping of Drive Block

Alternative SSD Architectures
Chameleon
Hybrid SSD
HyperLink NAND

SSD Reliability
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
Endurance
Program Disturb
Read Disturb
Data Retention
Bit Error Rate
SMART

SSD APPLICATIONS

PC Applications
Total Cost of Ownership
Performance Trend
Notebook PCs and Tablets
Desktop PCs

Enterprise Applications
Transaction Processing
Video Server
High Performance Computing
Internet/Network Server
Application Workload Characteristics
Server-attached vs. Storage-attached SSDs
SSDs by Interface

Price / GB

SSD LANDSCAPE

Chronology

Vendor Landscape

Standards
IDEMA
JEDEC
Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification (NVMHCI)
SNIA SSD Initiative
SSD Alliance
Technical Committee T13 AT Attachment
Technical Committee T10

REFERENCES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ABOUT FORWARD INSIGHTS
Services
Contact
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