IBM Files Flexible Capacity SSD Patent

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bustapr

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Seems logical and good. Too bad itll cost a fortune for while.

See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.
 
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Fantastic idea... hardly patent-worthy... and probably will be left on it's default setting by 99% of corporate users... but a fantastic idea all the same.
 

bhaberle

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[citation][nom]bustapr[/nom]Seems logical and good. Too bad itll cost a fortune for while. See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.[/citation]
Agreed
 

rosen380

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Why would it be better to have, lets say, a 128GB drive that acts like a 64GB drive versus a 128 GB drive that acts like a 128 GB drive that degrades down to a 64GB drive at about the same time as the other one runs out of reserve memory?
 

virtualban

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[citation][nom]bustapr[/nom]Seems logical and good. Too bad itll cost a fortune for while. See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.[/citation]
While I like both the tone and the content of your post, it is a bit of a flame bait. That's why I am continuing it one bit:

Wow, a drive that changes capacity, that's imagical...
 
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Man our patent system is so broken. This isnt a new idea, maybe with SSDs its new but not with HDDS. Weve been able to chose how to use the space forever. Choosing cluster size and partition size already changes how much real area you have on HDDs vs how much is reserved by the system, etc.

I guess somehow using the words SSD and 'spare area' make this patentable. What a joke....
 

rosen380

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That isn't what this article is about. You can presumably partition any SSD however you'd like.

This is about essentially letting you set aside some reserve space for when memory cells fail.
 

oparadoxical_

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[citation][nom]rosen380[/nom]Why would it be better to have, lets say, a 128GB drive that acts like a 64GB drive versus a 128 GB drive that acts like a 128 GB drive that degrades down to a 64GB drive at about the same time as the other one runs out of reserve memory?[/citation]
So that way you don't lose any of that data... If you were to use all 128gigs, and then have some of the cells fail, you just lost some of that stored information. This way, the ssd will (theoretically) detect any failures before they happen and transfer data accordingly. At least that is how I understand it.
 
[citation][nom]rosen380[/nom]Why would it be better to have, lets say, a 128GB drive that acts like a 64GB drive versus a 128 GB drive that acts like a 128 GB drive that degrades down to a 64GB drive at about the same time as the other one runs out of reserve memory?[/citation]
I am not an expert but since SSD storage memory has certain a life span and may degrade over time a 128GB that is used as a 128GB will used all memory cells most of the time and those cell will degrade and might become inaccessible (died) around the same time.
A 128 that it is used as 64GB will only use half of the memory cells and when one of those becomes inaccessible because of degradation it will use one of the new ones you had in reserved; from the 64GB you did not used.

 

rosen380

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As I understood it it was that each cell had a rough number of write cycles before failing. If that is the case, then by limiting to using half the cells, you'd expect them to fail twice as fast.
 

hellwig

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[citation][nom]rosen380[/nom]Likewise though, if it detects a failue, it could just move the data to an unused cell [or a cell marked for deletion]...[/citation]
The problem here is that the drive (and the OS attached to it) thinks it has 128GB of usable storage space. If, say, 8GB have gone bad, it would really only have 120GB of storage space. The drive would need some way of telling the OS that, hey, I have 8GB of bad sectors, don't try to write more than 120GB of data. There's no such mechanism, and instead, when the OS writes data and there are only bad sectors left, the drive can't do anything and that data is lost and the drive corrupted. Remember, flash memory re-writes whole sectors at a time, so you might lose the middle sector of a file, and better hope it's not your actual file system that's lost.

This is the case REGARDLESS of how much memory is provisioned on the drive. If you have a 128GB drive, provision 64GB for backup, that leaves 64GB for data. IF 70GB of the sectors go bad, the drive is now only at 58GB of actual capacity, but still thinks it's at 64. The OS writes 58.1GB of data and boom, drive is essentially dead.

Intel's patent doesn't fix that problem. What it does is it lets the customer decide how important data preservation is to their particular application. Average customers might only need 10% provision. Flash memory can sustain thousands of writes, and what home user is going to write 128GB thousands of times to a single drive? However, corporate scenarios (especially databases) might write out to a drive millions of times a day. In this case, provisioning a drive at 20%, 30%, 50% might be more cost effective than replacing the drive after only 10% has failed.
 

rosen380

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My experience with SCSI drives under IRIX is that when bad blocks are detected on a drive, they are flagged telling the OS not to write to them. Not sure if that is a feature of IRIX that allows for that, maybe a feature of SCSI drives, but it seems like if it is possible to work around bad blocks on a rotational drive, you should be able to implement something similar for SSDs.
 

rosen380

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@JerseyFirefighter - well, I don't want it unless it is powered wirelessly as well as wireless communication at gigabit or faster -- oh and it had better not cost more than $0.10 per petabyte!

:)
 

masterbinky

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I'm sorry this is not patent worthy. Problem, Ways to handle memory cells failing in a fixed amount of cells. Solution, don't use all the memory cells so when one dies there is another to use. Give this to a 100 CS students and you would get this result from one of them. This is not an invention but just standard wear management. Taking a simple and standard idea, is not what patents were for (but now you can patent anything if you make the application long enough, and then sue anyone for that idea).
 

rosen380

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If my math is right you'd be able to store over 30 million uncompressed blu-ray movies in one exabyte... Perhaps one exabyte is a bit of overkill right now ;)
 

mianmian

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This method seems not as good as they claims. SSD cells can sustain 3000-5000 writes. Hiding some capacity would not help SSD life at all.
 

rosen380

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It's kind of like buying a 12-pack of socks, but only using six pairs. You'll have extra socks in the top of your closet in case you get a hole in one of the 'active' pairs, but ultimately you will be wearing each pair twice as often, so you will wear those socks out more quickly than you would have otherwise.



 

rantoc

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[citation][nom]mianmian[/nom]This method seems not as good as they claims. SSD cells can sustain 3000-5000 writes. Hiding some capacity would not help SSD life at all.[/citation]

If you don't understand how spare cells will take the place when cells die it would seem more than hardware cells are fried!
 

davewolfgang

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All these companies are going way overboard in what they want to patent.

Is the actually physical make up of the SSD hardware "unique" or "new"? That's what you are "allowed" to patent. This just seems to be slapping a programmed BIOS into the SSD to tell it to do x, y and z.

A "process" for doing something "might" be able to be copyright'ed, but then it would only be for that EXACT programming. They still wouldn't be able to get anything if someone figures out a different way to do the same thing.

i.e. - an Author can Copyright his work - but ONLY the exact order in which is words are put down and the "characters" involved. He can't copyright each actual word he uses. So if someone put those word together in a different order it would be a different story. The same as any author can write a "girl falls in love with boy" story - thus the ending is the same, but the words used to get to that ending are different (and of course the characters are different too).
 
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