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Data Storage Power Upgrades

New Middleware Promises Dramatically Higher Speeds, Lower Power Draw For SSDs 68

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A breakthrough has been made in SSD technology that could mean drastic performance increases due to the overcoming of one of the major issues in the memory type. Currently, data cannot be directly overwritten onto the NAND chips used in the devices. Files must be written to a clean area of the drive whilst the old area is formatted. This eventually causes fragmented data and lowers the drive's life and performance over time. However, a Japanese team at Chuo University have finally overcome the issue that is as old as the technology itself. Officially unveiled at the 2014 IEEE International Memory Workshop in Taipei, the researchers have written a brand new middleware for the drives that controls how the data is written to and stored on the device. Their new version utilizes what they call a 'logical block address scrambler' which effectively prevents data being written to a new 'page' on the device unless it is absolutely required. Instead, it is placed in a block to be erased and consolidated in the next sweep. This means significantly less behind-the-scenes file copying that results in increased performance from idle."
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New Middleware Promises Dramatically Higher Speeds, Lower Power Draw For SSDs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @07:56AM (#47082389)

    they came up with a better scheme for mapping logical to physical. however, the results aren't as good as all the news sources say.

  • Re:Wear leveling (Score:5, Informative)

    by anubi ( 640541 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @08:14AM (#47082447) Journal
    I was looking into that when I was checking out alternatives to sub-gigabyte hard drives to keep legacy systems ( DOS and the like ) alive.

    Sandisk's CompactFlash memory cards ( intended for professional video cameras ) seemed to make great SSD's for older DOS systems when fitted with a CF to IDE adapter. I can format smaller CF cards to FAT16 ( using the DOS FDISK and FORMAT commands very similar to installing a raw magnetic drive ). With the adapter, the CF card looks and acts like a magnetic rotating hard drive. I had a volley of emails between SanDisk and myself, and the gist of it was they did not advertise using their product in this manner, and they did not want to get involved in support issues, but it should work. They told me they had wear leveling algorithms in place, which was the driving force behind my volley of emails with them. I was very concerned the File Allocation Table area would be very short lived because of the extreme frequency of it being overwritten. I would not like to give my client something that only works for a couple of months - that goes against everything I stand for.

    So, I have a couple of SanDisk memories out there in the field on old DOS systems still running legacy industrial robotics... and no problems yet.

    Apparently the SanDisk wear-leveling algorithms are working.

    I can tell you this works on some systems, but not on others, and I have yet to figure out why. I can even format and have a perfectly operational CF in the adapter plate so it looks ( both physically and supposedly electronically ) like a magnetic IDE drive in one system ... but another system ( say an old IBM ThinkPad ) won't recognize it. However a true magnetic drive swaps out nicely - albeit the startup files may need to be changed from one system to another.
  • Re:Wear leveling (Score:5, Informative)

    by csirac ( 574795 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @08:27AM (#47082491)
    Many industrial computers have CF-card slots for this very application. I put together a few MS-DOS systems using SanDisk CF cards around 8 years ago and they're still going strong, using a variant of one of these cards which has a CF slot built-in (so no need for a CF -> IDE adapter): PCA-6751 []

APL hackers do it in the quad.