A Real-Time Flash Translation Layer for NAND Flash Memory Storage Systems

Yi Wang, Zhiwei Qin, Renhai Chen, Zili Shao, Qixin Wang, Shuai Li, Laurence T. Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


NAND flash memory is widely used in both hard real-time and soft real-time systems because of its unique properties, such as non-volatility, low power consumption, and fast access time. However, due to the variable garbage collection latency, the response time becomes unpredictable when multiple I/O requests are issued from the file system to flash media. In NAND flash memory storage systems, flash translation layer (FTL) is a typical software module to handle the I/O requests and manage NAND flash memory. Most of existing FTL schemes focus on improving average response time but worst-case response time remains an open problem. This paper proposes a real-time flash translation layer (RFTL) scheme to evenly distribute garbage collection time-cost, so as to guarantee a near optimum worst-case response time. This is achieved by using a new hybrid-level address mapping approach, which can provide guaranteed physical space to serve requests in any time period. Moreover, we propose a distributed garbage collection policy that enables RFTL to reclaim the space and serve the requests simultaneously. We conduct a set of experiments on a real hardware platform. Both the proposed scheme and other representative FTL schemes have been implemented in the hardware evaluation board. Experimental results show that our scheme improves worst-case response time by 41.51 percent and average response time by 88.85 percent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7377108
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multi-Scale Computing Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • flash translation layer
  • garbage collection
  • NAND flash memory
  • real-time
  • storage management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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