Innodisk announces new power failure technology for SSDs

The Taiwanese SSD manufacturer Innodisk today announced their patented Power Secure technology dealing with power failures on SSDs. Solid-state drives (SSDs) have several advantages over traditional HDDs,  they have better performance and consume less energy.

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However, all storage devices are vulnerable to potential data loss caused by a sudden shutdown due to power failure.  Innodisk claims that their Power Secure technology, which is hardware and firmware based, offers a power-down recovery system that should reduce data loss due to power failures.

If a SSD read or write operation is interrupted due to an unexpected loss of power  an ECC (Error Correcting Code) failure can occur, leading to data loss. Innodisk has added a low power detector on their SSDs and when it’s triggered, a safe power-down recovery algorithm is executed.

The controller will complete the task it performs, using residual power stored in capacitors on the SSD.  As long as it detects  external power conditions are abnormal it will prevent further access to the flash memory. If the power abnormality is brief, Power Secure can allow normal operations to continue.

When power is restored, the Power Secure firmware scans the drive for errors caused by the power failure, restores the drive to a readable state, and recovers data that would otherwise be lost. Power Secure is  able to remap the data on the drive, remove corrupted data, and rebuild the original mapping table after an operation has been interrupted by power failure.  Power Secure is integrated in the SSD and requires no user intervention.

The company has posted a PDF that explains more about the technology. It’s unclear whether the technology actually differs from other power loss technology of other manufacturers. Power loss protection can be found in (usually enterprise level) SSDs of Intel, Micron, OCZ,  Samsung, Plextor.

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