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SanDisk ULLtraDIMM DDR3 400GB SSD Enterprise Review (Page 5)

By Paul Alcorn from Nov 10, 2014 @ 8:05 CST
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: SanDisk

Guardian Technology Platform


SanDisk's award-winning Guardian Technology Platform is a proprietary approach that manages the physics of the NAND, and not just the errors. It consists of three integral components.

- FlashGuard


SanDisk subjects all NAND to an extensive characterization process before assembly. Aggregated flash management ensures there is an even distribution of different classes of NAND to benefit the whole. Once assembled, the Guardian Technology Platform takes over, and NAND settings are monitored and adjusted constantly. Retention and wear metrics are typically programmed during NAND processing, and never altered. With Guardian, adaptive programming tailors the NAND settings at the base level by dynamically adjusting flash parameters over the course of the SSDs life. This creates an exponential increase in NAND endurance.

As NAND geometries shrink, endurance also shrinks, and data errors multiply. SMART utilizes adaptive ASP (Advanced Signal Processing) in concert with advanced two-level BCH ECC algorithms to combat data errors. Typical SSDs can only achieve wear leveling on each NAND package, but Aggregated Flash Processing treats all of the flash elements as a whole, and provides global cross-die wear leveling. The wear leveling algorithms also monitor the health of individual flash cells, and dynamically focuses the heaviest workloads on the healthiest flash. The result is impressive endurance metrics. The ULLtraDIMM provides ten DWPD of random write endurance, and 25 DWPD for sequential write workloads.

- DataGuard

DataGuard provides full data path protection, and the F.R.A.M.E. (Flexible Redundant Array of Memory Elements) functionality. F.R.A.M.E. is a cross-die data redundancy feature, similar to parity, which allows for data reconstruction in the event of a catastrophic event, such as a flash page or block failure (some incarnations can even recover from an entire die failure). This internal XOR provides embedded fault tolerance, and a BER rating of one unrecoverable error per 10^17.

- EverGuard

EverGuard is a third generation host power-loss protection design that protects against unexpected power interruptions. An array of discrete PolyTantalum capacitors provides power to flush all data in transit to the NAND during power loss. These Tantalum capacitors are rated for high temperature environments, and do not experience degradation over time. There are additional architectural features, such as advanced controller power management and lower pages reserved for power-down writes, that reduce the power hold up time requirements. The entire MCS chipset falls under the EverGuard umbrella, providing power backup for early-commit operations.

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