Rank-Modulation Rewrite Coding for Flash Memories

Eyal En Gad, Eitan Yaakobi, Anxiao, Jiang, Jehoshua Bruck

The current flash memory technology focuses on the cost minimization of its static storage capacity. However, the resulting approach supports a relatively small number of program-erase cycles. This technology is effective for consumer devices (e.g., smartphones and cameras) where the number of program-erase cycles is small. However, it is not economical for enterprise storage systems that require a large number of lifetime writes. The proposed approach in this paper for alleviating this problem consists of the efficient integration of two key ideas: (i) improving reliability and endurance by representing the information using relative values via the rank modulation scheme and (ii) increasing the overall (lifetime) capacity of the flash device via rewriting codes, namely, performing multiple writes per cell before erasure. This paper presents a new coding scheme that combines rank modulation with rewriting. The key benefits of the new scheme include: (i) the ability to store close to 2 bits per cell on each write with minimal impact on the lifetime of the memory, and (ii) efficient encoding and decoding algorithms that make use of capacity-achieving write-once-memory (WOM) codes that were proposed recently.

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