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Hyperstone U9 Flash Controller Deep Dive (Page 1)

Hyperstone U9 Flash Controller Deep Dive

Hyperstone's U9 flash controller survives in environments and workloads where consumer products fail.

By: Chris Ramseyer from Jul 30, 2019 @ 20:00 CDT

Introduction

There is currently just over 7 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices in the world, according to IoT Analytics. Current projects show that number will leap to a staggering 22 billion by 2025 and become a 1 trillion Dollar market well before then.

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Along with the market-growth comes increased capabilities from smarter devices. The industry calls this edge processing, and it's the device sorting through the massive amounts of data before sending the relevant portions to users or the cloud. The processing of live data increases storage demands while manufacturers push for lower-cost and lower-power components to make the magic happen.

Hyperstone specializes in reliable flash memory controllers for demanding environments. The company's U9 NAND flash controller is a turnkey product for industrial and robust environments where high endurance is a requirement. The controller utilizes the common USB 3.1 SuperSpeed 5Gbps interface for both low-cost integration and enough performance for on-device processing.

Hyperstone chose to build a well-rounded solution that sips just 300mW when active and delivers up to 3,000 IOPS read and 1,000 IOPS write in steady-state using commodity NAND flash.

Architecture and Features

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Hyperstone based the U9 on their E1 microprocessor core with a 32-bit RISC architecture. The chip supports two flash channels with up to eight chip selects on two bus channels. The 124-TFBGA design measures just 9mm x 9mm.

The controller utilizes two additional co-processors that allows direct flash access to relieve the RISC core from additional overheard associated with data transfer tasks. The on-chip hardware ECC and CRC unit produces the code bytes for error detection and correction in the read and write processes.

The U9 works with a wide spectrum of Flashes including current 3D Flashes. Future updates will enable new Flashes as they become available.

  • hyReliability Flash Management including superior wear leveling, read disturb management, and power fail management
  • hyMap Flash Translation Layer and mapping offering second to none random write performance, minimal write amplification, and consequently highest endurance for random access heavy usage profiles (e.g. JEDEC Enterprise)
  • Flexible 96-Bit/1K BCH ECC engine supporting all Flash Memory requirements
  • Optimized 32-Bit RISC core, instruction set for Flash Memory handling
  • Continuously updated Flash Memory chip support and long term availability
  • High performance on-the-fly AES 128 and 256-bit hardware encryption engine
  • 16 GPIOs for customer specific applications supporting SPI, I2C and ISO7816 or additional flash chip enables
  • Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK) to develop own Custom Firmware Extensions (CFE)
  • Built-in temperature sensing capability

A Closer Look

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The U9 incorporates several functions in the die, like power regulation, so the design requires less surface mount components that add to R&D and material costs.

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