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Data Dependent Sparing to Manage Better-Than-Bad Blocks

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3 Author(s)
Maddah, R. ; Comput. Sci. Dept., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Sangyeun Cho ; Melhem, R.

We forecast that proper handling of unreliable storage blocks (e.g., "bad block management" in solid-state drives) will remain critical for future systems built with advanced and emerging memory technologies. This paper argues that the conventional block retirement and sparing approach--a block is retired as soon as it shows faulty behavior--is overly conservative and inefficient. We observe that it is highly unlikely that all faulty bits in a storage block manifest errors. Consequently, we propose data dependent sparing, a relaxed block retirement and sparing approach that recycles faulty storage blocks. At small management cost and with less than 1% sparing, data dependent sparing achieves the same lifetime as the conventional approach with 20% sparing.

Published in:

Computer Architecture Letters  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )