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Solid State Drives Take Out the Garbage

Dec 02, 2009, 13:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Herman Mehling)

"Flash's Software Problems

"Handy said the erasure difficulty stems from the fact that all of today's software was written for HDDs, which don't behave like the flash in an SSD.

""An HDD can overwrite existing data with new data," said Handy. "Since the software doesn't accommodate flash's 'erase-before-write' needs, the controller inside the SSD must take care of this bit of housekeeping. Unused and unerased blocks are moved out of the way and erased in the background."

"The main advantage of background garbage collection is the gain in write performance, said Geonyoung Hong, vice president of Indilinx.

""Background garbage collection will not degrade the performance of an SSD if it does not stall ATA command processing from the host," said Hong. "The background garbage collection is kick-started by a pre-set idle period and by calculating the cost of garbage collection at that time."

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