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IBM Files Flexible Capacity SSD Patent

The basic idea is that users can either choose to leverage the full capacity of the SSD or reduce the size and reserve some of the memory cells as a safety net when other memory cells fail. In effect, less capacity can provide a longer drive life.

IBM envisions that users can configure the desired drive life in combination with a minimum storage capacity, which will be done via the firmware of the SSD: "Based on the user configuration and the utilization, a portion of the SSD memory devices is allocated as available memory, and another portion of the SSD memory devices is reserved as overprovisioned memory, to be used as fallback when available memory devices reach their PE wear out threshold," the patent states.

During usage, a drive could be using self-monitoring tools and dynamically adjust storage space, depending on the actual use of the drive. "The proportion of available memory to overprovisioned memory may be adjusted if the utilization changes; as the SSD utilization changes, the controller may allocate or de-allocate available memory to meet the SSD drive life configuration. The SSD drive life is therefore predictable and adjustable."

Such features are extremely helpful in corporate environments, especially in areas where SSDs are used in database applications.

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

    See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    Sounds like an interesting solution for some business enterprise situations. Would it also be practical for gamers and enthusiasts?
    Reply
  • bhaberle
    bustaprSeems logical and good. Too bad itll cost a fortune for while. See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.Agreed
    Reply
  • rosen380
    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?
    Reply
  • virtualban
    bustaprSeems logical and good. Too bad itll cost a fortune for while. See here Apple, this is what a REAL patent should look like.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...
    Reply
  • Gin Fushicho
    I'm not sure I like the "Dynamic" idea, but the idea of changing it yourself sounds cool.
    Reply
  • 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....
    Reply
  • rosen380
    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.
    Reply
  • oparadoxical_
    rosen380Why 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?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.
    Reply