Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory

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  • 1. White Paper Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Flash Memory Intel® Turbo Memory
  • 2. Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory White Paper Introduction Overview Intel has introduced a new non-volatile memory (NVM) layer into the memory hierarchy in the mobile computing platform. This new NVM New layer and technology is a hard disk drive cache. This new non-volatile Memory CPU Hierarchy hard disk drive cache memory layer was developed in a mini PCI-express MCH Intel® Turbo memory card form factor that can be inserted in the back of a laptop DRAM Memory Card much like Intel’s Wireless LAN (WLAN) solution for Intel® Centrino® PCI-e Intel® Intel® PCI-e ICH Turbo NAND Memory Flash mobile technology. The new non-volatile memory layer is now a prod- Controller Memory BIOS uct called Intel® Turbo Memory. It consists of an Intel Turbo Memory HDD controller ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chip and two Main BIOS Memory NVM Cache Disk Intel NAND flash non-volatile memory components that enable faster resume to productivity after hibernate, providing additional power savings by limiting hard disk drive accesses and increasing Figure 1: New Non-Volatile Memory Layer in the PC Computing Platform application responsiveness for a richer user experience. The Intel Turbo Memory card on the new mobile computing platforms operating on Windows Vista* OS support both Microsoft's ReadyDrive* and ReadyBoost* features in one single unit. New The capabilities and features of the Intel Turbo Memory card are Memory Intel® CPU Hierarchy NAND Flash Memory accomplished by utilizing a fast PCI express bus to efficiently move Intel® Turbo MCH DRAM Memory Card data between the Intel Turbo MemoryICH and the CPU data requests card PCI-e Control Signals x8 Intel® Intel® PCI-e Intel® Turbo Memory rather through the slower higher power hard disk drive path. Turbo NAND Memory Flash Controller Controller Memory x16 Data Bus x8 The application performance acceleration is attributed toCache getting data BIOS HDD Intel® via a faster 250MB/s PCI express bus to and from a higher perform- Main NAND Flash BIOS Memory NVM Disk Memory ance silicon NAND flash memory media rather than a slower rotating magnetic hard disk drive. The Intel® Matrix Storage Manager (IMSM) software in conjunction with the Intel Turbo Memory firmware drivers Figure 2: Intel® Turbo Memory Block Diagram judiciously control the reads and the writes to the hard disk drive limit- ing the hard disk drive power consumption and extending the wear and the life of the hard drive. 2
  • 3. Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory White Paper The Four Key Tenants of the Intel® Turbo Memory Card The four key tenants of the Intel® Turbo Memory card are: • A complete understanding of the PC system memory and the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) usage model • Platform and memory component reliability requirements • Platform memory performance needs • Thorough hardware and software validation of the complete platform solution All four of these key tenants will be discussed in detail in this paper. Intel has extended its PC system (DRAM) memory and platform HDD expertise in developing the Intel Turbo Memory card. The introduc- tion of this new non-volatile memory disk caching layer into the overall PC memory platform hierarchy is revolutionary in principle and Figure 3: The 4 Key Tenants of the Intel® Turbo Memory Card the application of NAND flash memory. None of these four tenants can be compromised to deliver and ensure a solid solution such as the Intels Turbo Memory card. PC Platform Memory Usage Model Understanding the complete PC platform memory usage model and hierarchy from the deepest levels of the CPU registries and caches to the remotest level of hard disk drive storage is essential in know- ing how to improve the overall platform performance, knowing what the right solution is, as well as the right implementation of the solu- tion. The Intel Turbo Memory card uses the NAND flash dramatically different than the traditional use of NAND flash memory, i.e., in memory cards and USB drives. The traditional use for NAND flash devices in USB drives and in other memory card form factors has been primarily for storage of large files such as digital pictures, music, or a large document. The usage of these devices has been for occasional writes and reads, as for example, in a digital camera, where these captured and stored data files (images) are transferred via a memory card to a personal computer for image processing, email distribution, printing, or storage. This typical usage model of NAND flash in the consumer memory card environment is dramatically different from the PC computing environment where the Intel Turbo Memory card is used. Figure 4: Consumer Data Storage Usage Model The difference between the two memory card usage models and devices are listed in the following table: 3
  • 4. White Paper Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Robson Technology Intel® Turbo Memory Card Usage Model Comparison Model Attribute PC Computing Consumer Data Storage Applications • Random small file writes • Sequential large file writes • References small amounts of data • 50% are 8 Sectors (4KB) • Large Files > 1MB File Size • Avg. Size: 44 Sectors (~20KB) Performance • Fast small random reads • Fast large file writes • Fast small random writes Reliability • Extensive reads and writes • Frequent writes • Intensive daily and hourly • Seldom read computational usage • Occasional use These NAND usage model differences between the consumer mem- All three reliability elements listed above must be extensively tested ory card data storage and PC computing requires extensive research individually and on the platform to ensure it meets the product life in workload scenario analysis. The development of key wear leveling requirements. algorithms is essential to enable the NAND flash and the platform to work reliably over the product life. Once these NAND flash caching Intel® Turbo Memory Controller Manages the usage models and work loads were done, close relationships with Intel® NAND Flash the Microsoft Vista* OS and Intel software/firmware developers The Intel Turbo Memory controller manages the NAND flash and the were needed to optimize the Intel Turbo Memory controller and wear PCI Express bus while handling the Operating System (OS) service leveling algorithm of the NAND flash Memory to further the Intel calls for cached data reads and writes. As with any NAND based Turbo Memory card product performance. memory product solution, the NAND flash memory controller is the key in executing the NAND flash wear leveling algorithm, managing Reliability the reads, writes, erases, and performing the ECC (Error Correction The PC computing platform, the NAND flash usage model, and the Code) as needed. application workloads define and determine the platform design and The Intel Turbo Memory controller has a dual responsibility to man- operational bounds of the Intel Turbo Memory card. The major relia- age the NAND usage and keeping extensive “book keeping” of the bility elements essential to the success of the memory card are: NAND reliability statistics. These usage statistics includes the num- • Intel® Turbo Memory controller to manage the NAND flash ber of page reads, page writes, block erases, and the reliability statis- tics include initial and subsequent development of bad blocks over • NAND flash wear leveling algorithm and firmware time, block retirement, and bit error rates. All these vital statistics are • Intel® NAND flash memory component reliability used to manage the NAND flash over the life of the Intel Turbo Memory card. 4
  • 5. Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory White Paper Intel Developed Flash Wear Leveling Algorithm and Firmware IP Extensive studies have been done on various usage models for the light, moderate, and heavy mobile PC users and their corresponding user application workloads to determine the optimal wear leveling algorithm. These studies were essential in establishing and fitting the new Intel® Turbo Memory layer into the PC platform hierarchy and correspondingly outlining the reliability requirements of the Intel®NAND Flash Memory. While many NAND flash suppliers specify the same reliability specifications such as their 100K program erase specifications and their data retention capabilities, each supplier sat- isfies the requirements differently. In that regard, the Intel Turbo Memory controller and wear leveling algorithm was specifically fine-tuned to Intels NAND Flash Memory. With NAND flash moving into this new rigorous and demanding com- Figure 5: Demonstrated NAND Memory Wear Leveling Effectiveness puting environment, the Intel Turbo Memory controller must execute the NAND flash wear leveling algorithm to ensure a healthy and robust product life for the Intel Turbo Memory Card. The wear level- Ground breaking NAND wear leveling algorithms were developed ing algorithm must comprehend not only the usage statistics of the and tested to ensure the NAND flash reliability to the various usage NAND flash but also track the key reliability statistics. The wear lev- models. Attributes of the wear leveling algorithm had to compre- eling algorithm must track the many known failure mechanisms hend the demanding data caching performance and data through- known to all NAND flash in the industry that include the following: put requirements while managing the following: • Program Disturb • Maintaining low power consumption • Read Disturb • Managing memory space for incoming large and small files • Program and Erase Cycles • Determining and managing Intel Turbo Memory card foreground and background operations • Data Retention • Even wear of the NAND flash memory blocks • Bit Error Rate (BER) • Intel Turbo Memory card separation issues with the platform and • Block Wear and Retirement over Usage and Time hard disk drive The above graph illustrates the wear leveling algorithm results high- lighting the evenness and efficiency of memory block usage with the flat curve of a sample work load study. The graph shows a 2.5% difference in block erase count between the mean and peak usage activity. 5
  • 6. Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory White Paper In the end, the Intel® Turbo Memory wear leveling algorithm and firmware for the memory card maximizes Intel's NAND flash performance and capability. Intel® NAND Flash Memory Intel's SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND flash memory is one of the key ingredients to the development of the Intel Turbo Memory card. All of its intricate performance to read, write, erase, and respective reliability capabilities have been woven in the development of the NAND wear leveling algorithm and the Intel Turbo Memory controller. The Intel® NAND Flash Memory reliability in respect to, Program and Read Disturb, Partial Page Writes, Program and erase cycling, Bit Error Rate (BER) and ECC, Block “0” reliability capabilities, Bad Block Management, Data retention have been evaluated and built into Intel's NAND flash wear leveling algorithms and ECC schemes to provide the highest quality and integrity of data to the computing environment. Figure 6: Intel® NAND Flash Memory Contrary to industry NAND flash, Intel’s NAND flash memory provides an additional advanced command set that offers more The Intel Turbo Memory card design has been optimized for perform- capability and performance. These advanced commands include ance to Intel's SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND flash bus command set, the following: setup and hold edge timings, and I/O edge timings to squeeze out • Random Data Read Within a Page Buffer any wasted bus time. Combined with a high performance Intel Turbo Memory controller and Intel NAND flash component performance, • Write and Read Cache Mode the Intel Turbo Memory card can deliver visible improvements in user • OTP (One Time Programmable) applications experience, resumes to productivity from hibernates, and additional battery power savings. • Two Plane Commands (Read, Program, and Erase Operation, and Interleave Die Operation) Intel® Turbo Memory Card Performance The Intel Turbo Memory card provides the user with more perform- ance with their mobile laptop PC by supplying data faster to the CPU New in all modes of operation, active, resumes to productivity from hiber- Memory Intel® CPU Hierarchy NAND Flash nate, and booting all resulting in a better andIntel® Turbo more satisfying user Memory experience. This improved performance is attributed Card memory Memory to the MCH DRAM card architecture and operating on a faster 250 MB/s PCI Express Control Signals x8 PCI-e Intel® Intel® PCI-e Intel® bus rather than on a slower higher power USB or other system bus. ICH Turbo NAND Turbo Memory Memory Flash Controller The memory card architecture was designed to deliver better per- Controller Memory x16 Data Bus x8 formance by taking advantage of the power of parallelism that HDD uti- BIOS lizes 2 Intel® NAND Flash Memory components that are addressed, Intel® Main NAND Flash written, and read in an interleaved x16 parallel data path with the BIOS Memory NVM Cache Disk Memory Intel Turbo Memory controller. Figure 7: Intel® Turbo Memory Card Block Diagram 6
  • 7. Intel® NAND Flash Memory for Intel® Turbo Memory White Paper Platform Validation of Memory Hardware and Software card also went through a rigorous high volume manufacturing (HVM) The last key tenant and the last task in completing the Intel® Turbo product qualification that includes the following: Memory card design and development is a complete product • Card (board) Manufacturing: Solder Joint Reliability, Temperature validation between the hardware and the software. Extensive cycling, Power cycling, Flex, Shock & Vibration, Operational validation at the hardware and software level is needed to ensure Shock & Vibration a robust product. • Board Level Evaluations for ESD and EMI Hardware Validation (Electro-Magnetic Interference) Component read, write, and erase operation timing between the • Quality and Environmental Standards Tested to Meet: ROHS, UL, Intel Turbo Memory controller to Intel NAND flash was extensively and PCI Express evaluated and validated. Extensive measurements and characteriza- tion data gathering was completed to ensure all the NAND flash In the end, a qualified Intel Turbo Memory card resulted after command set, I/O timings, and read, write, and erase datasheet an extensive product qualification processes. This ensured a solid specifications were met. product to meet the platform usage model of five years. Summary Platform Validation The Intel Turbo Memory card received approval from the PCI-e stan- dards body by meeting standards certifications and achieving stan- dards compliance with its high speed PCI Express interface. Data integrity and I/O performance tests were tested to meet PCI specifi- Extensive research into the mobile PC platform memory hierarchy, cations. Participation in the PCI-Express “plug feast” test were also usage model, and work load was done to develop the Intel Turbo completed to ensure compatibility across platforms. Memory card. The four key tenants responsible in producing the Intel Turbo Memory card are: Software and Firmware Validation Validation testing of Intel's NAND Flash Memory wear leveling algo- 1. Memory usage model and work load analysis rithm and Intel Turbo Memory software drivers with Microsoft's 2. Reliable wear leveling algorithm to ensure product life Vista* OS release was thoroughly conducted to ensure system robustness. Integrating the Intel Turbo Memory card to the platform 3. Intel Turbo Memory card performance at the software level required close examination and coordination of 4. Complete platform software and hardware validation the Vista* OS, graphics chipset (GMCH) and IO chipset (ICH) firmware, platform BIOS, and Intel's matrix storage manager software. To validate Intel's NAND Flash Memory wear leveling algorithm, a specific Intel® NAND Flash Memory RDT (Reliability Demonstration Test) was designed and tested with PC mobile laptops reading, pro- gramming, and erasing the NAND flash with work loads running 24x7 at accelerated temperatures. During the course of the RDT, the NAND flash reliability statistics were monitored to resolve, demon- strate and prove a 2.5 million hour MTBF product life capability. High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) Product Qualification Intel's Turbo Memory card has gone through an internal HVM memo- ry card validation. Moreover, each of the respective silicon compo- nents, Intel Turbo Memory controller and Intel NAND Flash Memory also were subjected to qualification. Finally, the Intel Turbo Memory Figure 8: Intel® Turbo Memory Card 7
  • 8. www.intel.com Intel, the Intel logo, Intel. Leap ahead and Intel. Leap ahead logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Information regarding third-party products is provided solely for educational purposes. Intel is not responsible for the performance or support of third-party products and does not make any representations or warranties whatsoever regarding quality, reliability, functionality, or compatibility of these devices or products. Copyright © 2007 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. 0507/DS/PD/PDF 316093-001US