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227-0085-44L: Understanding and Designing Modern NAND Flash-Based Solid-State Drives (SSDs)

Course Description

NAND flash memory is the de facto standard for architecting a storage device in modern computing systems. As modern computing systems process large amounts of data at an unprecedented scale, a storage device needs to meet high requirements on storage capacity and I/O performance. A NAND flash-based solid-state drive (SSD) can provide orders-of-magnitude higher I/O performance compared to traditional hard-disk drives (HDDs), with a much lower cost-per-bit value over SSDs based on other emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies.

NAND flash memory has several unique characteristics, such as the erase-before-write property (i.e., a flash cell needs to be first erased before programming it), limited lifetime (i.e., a cell cannot reliably store data after experiencing a certain number of program/erase (P/E) cycles), and large operation units (e.g., modern NAND flash memory typically reads/writes data in a page (e.g., 16 KiB) granularity). To achieve high performance and large capacity of the storage system while hiding the unique characteristics of NAND flash memory, it is critical to design efficient SSD firmware, commonly called Flash-Translation Layer (FTL). An FTL is responsible for many critical management tasks, such as address translation, garbage collection, wear leveling, and I/O scheduling, which significantly affect the performance, reliability, and lifetime of the SSD.

In this P&S, we will cover how a modern NAND flash-based SSD is organized and operates, from the basics of underlying NAND flash devices and various SSD-management tasks at the FTL level. You will build a practical SSD simulator by refactoring MQSim, a state-of-the-art simulator for high-end SSDs, to support advanced features of modern NAND flash chips and essential SSD-management tasks. This will allow you to have the chance to obtain a comprehensive background of modern storage systems and research experience on system optimization with rigorous evaluation.

Prerequisites of the course:

  • No prior knowledge in NAND flash-based storage systems is required.
  • Digital Design and Computer Architecture (or equivalent course)
  • Good knowledge in C/C++ programming language is required.
  • Interest in system optimizations

The course is conducted in English.

Course description page Moodle


Name E-mail Office
Lead Supervisor Jisung Park ETZ H 61.1
Supervisor Mohammad Sadrosadati ETZ H 61.1
Student Mentor Rakesh Nadig ETZ H 61.1
Student Mentor Yunxin Sun ETZ H 61.1

Lecture Video Playlists on YouTube

Fall 2021 Meetings/Schedule

Week Date Livestream Meeting Learning Materials Assignments
W1 29.09
M1: P&S Course Presentation
W2 06.10
M2: Basics of NAND Flash-Based SSDs
W3 13.10
M3: Advanced NAND Flash Commands & Address Translation
W4 20.10
M4: Fine-Grained Mapping & Multi-Plane Operation-Aware Data Placement

Learning Materials

Meeting 1: Required Materials

Meeting 1: Recommended Materials

Meeting 2: Required Materials

Meeting 2: Recommended Materials

Meeting 3: Required Materials

Meeting 3: Recommended Materials


HW0: Student Information (Due: 21.03.2021)

ssd_simulator.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/27 09:54 by jispark