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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
InnoDisk Develops New SSD Power-Failure Protection Technology


Innodisk on Wednesday announced the development of Power Secure, a new hardware and firmware-based power failure protection system designed to protect SSD data integrity after sudden power outages.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are far faster, more durable, and have lower operating costs than HDDs. However, all storage devices are vulnerable to potential data loss caused by a sudden shutdown due to external power failure. Innodisk's Power Secure offers a combined hardware and firmware power-down recovery system that reduces the probability of data loss or corruption. If a SSD read or write operation is interrupted due to an unexpected loss of power, there can be inconsistencies in the data; it may not load successfully, and an ECC (Error Correcting Code) failure can occur, leading to data loss. Power Secure's first line of defense against this issue is a low power detector on the SSD.

When the low power detector is triggered, a safe power-down recovery algorithm is executed to help prevent data loss. The controller will complete the current operation, using residual power stored in capacitors on the SSD, and then continue monitoring external power conditions to prevent further access to the flash memory while voltage levels are abnormal. If the power abnormality is brief, Power Secure can allow normal operations to continue, however, even if the power fails completely, Power Secure will be ready to take further action to protect data when power is restored.

Power Secure's work doesn't end when power fails. When power is restored, the patented 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. With older SSD controller technology, an ECC failure is a likely result of power loss, but Power Secure is actually 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 storage device and requires no user intervention. Therefore it is always ready to protect data, no matter what the cause of the unexpected power loss: power outage or brownout, power supply failure, battery exhaustion, and even inadvertent disengagement of a live drive.


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