LBA Scrambler Technology Could Increase SSD Performance 300 Percent On Current Drives

When SSDs hit the market, it was a revolution in terms of storage speeds, unlocking a serious performance bottleneck over slower (but generally higher-capacity and much less expensive HDDs), but a team of Japanese researchers has developed technology that could significantly boost SSD performance while also making NAND flash-based devices more energy efficient.

Specifically, the research team has run simulations that improves write speeds by 300%; reduces power consumption by 60%; and decreases write/erase cycles by 55%. Even better, because the solution is in the SSD’s middleware and not the NAND flash itself, existing flash devices can actually take advantage of the technology’s benefits.

lba scrambler

The new method for preventing data fragmentation on SSDs is called “LBA (logical block address) scrambler”, and it works by placing the aforementioned LBA in between the file system and the flash translation layer (FTL). The LBA then “converts the logical addresses of data being written to reduce the effect of fragmentation,” according to a report.

lba scrambler

Basically, instead of writing existing data to a new memory area while the initial data is overwritten and deleted--which necessitates “garbage collection”, which produces latency--the new data is written onto one of the fragmented pages. “As a result, the ratio of invalid pages in the block to be erased increases, reducing the number of valid pages that need to be copied to another area at the time of garbage collection,” reads a report.

The team presented its work at the 2014 IEEE International Memory Workshop (IMW) conference; hopefully we’ll see it make its way into real-world consumer and enterprise applications soon.