Power Failure Protection Scheme for Reliable High-Performance Solid State Disks

Kwanhu BANG  Kyung-Il IM  Dong-gun KIM  Sang-Hoon PARK  Eui-Young CHUNG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E96-D   No.5   pp.1078-1085
Publication Date: 2013/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E96.D.1078
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Computer System
solid state disk,  power failure protection,  data backup,  super-capacitor,  rechargeable battery,  

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Solid-state disks (SSDs) have received much attention as replacements for hard disk drives (HDDs). One of their noticeable advantages is their high-speed read/write operation. To achieve good performance, SSDs have an internal memory hierarchy which includes several volatile memories, such as DRAMs and SRAMs. Furthermore, many SSDs adopt aggressive memory management schemes under the assumption of stable power supply. Unfortunately, the data stored in the volatile memories are lost when the power supplied to SSDs is abruptly shut off. Such power failure is often observed in portable devices. For this reason, it is critical to provide a power failure protection scheme for reliable SSDs. In this work, we propose a power-failure protection scheme for SSDs to increase their reliability. The contribution of our work is three-fold. First, we design a power failure protection circuit which incorporates super-capacitors as well as rechargeable batteries. Second, we provide a method to determine the capacity of backup power sources. Third, we propose a data backup procedure when the power failure occurs. We implemented our method on a real board and applied it to a notebook PC with a contemporary SSD. The board measurement and simulation results prove that our method is robust in cases of sudden power failure.