Samsung ‘Never-Die’ Solid State Technology – NAND Gate Detection

Nov 14, 2019
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Samsung has developed a new technology that seeks to detect faulty NAND chips and relocate data in order to increase the lifespan and reliability of its upcoming PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Samsung aims to deploy this technology to data centers in the near future, and with this, the possibility of it filtering down to the consumer level may exist.

Fail-In-Place Technology - FIP

Samsung has developed a new technology known as Fail-in-Place (FIP). FIP aims to detect faulty NAND chips onboard an SSD, and by doing so, prevents the death of the SSD. Rather than losing the entire storage device altogether, FIP allows for the faulty NAND chip to be disabled while the rest of the storage device may continue to function as normal. Losing a NAND chip does have its drawbacks, primarily being a reduction in available storage space, though it is much better than losing an entire drive.

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FIP manages to scan the damaged or faulty area of the storage device for bits and pieces of recoverable data and relocate those fragments of information to the remaining functional NAND chips. This is an automatic, yet effective method of data recovery built directly into a solid-state drive.

Samsung has published a document explaining the functionality of the FIP system.

Samsung’s FIP technology marks a new milestone in the 60-year history of storage by ensuring that SSDs maintain normal operation even when errors occur at the chip level, enabling a never-dying SSD for the first time in the industry. In the past, failure in just one out of several hundred NAND chips meant having to replace an entire SSD, causing system downtime and additional drive replacement cost. SSDs integrated with Samsung’s FIP software can detect a faulty chip, scan for any damage in data, then relocate the data into working chips. For instance, if a fault is identified in any of the 512 NAND chips inside a 30.72TB SSD, the FIP software would automatically activate error-handling algorithms at the chip level while maintaining the drive’s high, stable performance.

Samsung PM1733 SSD

Availability and Use Cases

As of right now, Samsung's new FIP technology is exclusively available to the datacenter segment. Samsung currently offers two PCIe 4.0 models with up to nineteen different variants.

  • PM1733
  • PM1735 (12.8TB)

Samsung claims the PM1735 is nearly fourteen times faster in terms of sequential performance than that of a SATA-based solid-state drive.

With this technology in place, Samsung is taking steps to minimize the threat of data loss and maximize the reliability of upcoming SSDs in the datacenter settings, and potentially in the consumer market in the future.

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