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Method for visual life indication of flash based storage devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236342D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-21
Document File: 6 page(s) / 98K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method in the flash memory-based subsystem, mainly related to SSD drives, to propose a visual indication and alert management scheme.

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Method for visual life indication of flash based storage devices

Wear life of SSD drives is a critical factor. Wear life needs periodical monitor at different stages for timely maintenance, serviceability, and replacement to ensure uninterrupted service. Smart attributes support wear life measurement and can be read and used by FW/middleware to monitor usage. However, there is often a need to know the health/life of an SSD drive by visual inspection, especially in data centers, where an array of drives are used. This visual indication, in turn, would enable easy monitor of SSD life to assess the usage and also provide timely support of maintenance/serviceability/replacement services. In SSDs, there is LED today to indicate any fault event using blink codes, but this is not for wear life tracking and indicate. Also, there is often a need for the field/service personnel to know about the usage related events in the form of real usage statistics, to well prepare in advance for maintenance/service events (example: generation of replacement alerts, once the usage is hit 70%).

    This method proposes a platform comprising a "visual indicator controller" as part of flash controller to drive indicators present in the front side of an SSD drive. It proposes indicator controller to track wear count in real time and accordingly drive indicators to present current usage status to the users. It suggests a means of programmability of indicator display patterns and wear life ranges through FW/middleware. It also suggests a means of programmability to support usage-based thresholds. In one method, it proposes three methods of visual display: color combinative LED method, level bar indicator, and vertical bar methods; each method has its own features and requirements but still with common objective of wear life indication. In another method, it proposes to indicate wear life using blink codes using the existing LED display infrastructure. The concept is illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 below.

1


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Figure 1


LEDs present in the front side of the SSD indicate wear life

LEDs color combination provides represent wear life in %

Monitor (on/off) switch to control the display of LEDs
When pressed, LEDs will glow for X seconds to indicate the wear life


When pressed again, LEDs will turn off

2


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Figure 2


On/Off switch is mainly to know the SSD life status whenever...