Asymmetric Programming: A Highly Reliable Metadata Allocation Strategy for MLC NAND Flash Memory-Based Sensor Systems

Min Huang; Zhaoqing Liu; Liyan Qiao
October 2014
Sensors (14248220);Oct2014, Vol. 14 Issue 10, p18851
Academic Journal
While the NAND flash memory is widely used as the storage medium in modern sensor systems, the aggressive shrinking of process geometry and an increase in the number of bits stored in each memory cell will inevitably degrade the reliability of NAND flash memory. In particular, it's critical to enhance metadata reliability, which occupies only a small portion of the storage space, but maintains the critical information of the file system and the address translations of the storage system. Metadata damage will cause the system to crash or a large amount of data to be lost. This paper presents Asymmetric Programming, a highly reliable metadata allocation strategy for MLC NAND flash memory storage systems. Our technique exploits for the first time the property of the multi-page architecture of MLC NAND flash memory to improve the reliability of metadata. The basic idea is to keep metadata in most significant bit (MSB) pages which are more reliable than least significant bit (LSB) pages. Thus, we can achieve relatively low bit error rates for metadata. Based on this idea, we propose two strategies to optimize address mapping and garbage collection. We have implemented Asymmetric Programming on a real hardware platform. The experimental results show that Asymmetric Programming can achieve a reduction in the number of page errors of up to 99.05% with the baseline error correction scheme.


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