Patent application serial number 859497 has not been assigned to a company or institution.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Flash memory devices store information with high density on Flash cells with ever smaller dimensions. In addition, Multi-Level Cells (MLC) store several bits per cell by setting the amount of charge in a cell. Flash memory devices are organized into (physical) pages. Each page includes a section allocated for data (512 bytes-8 Kbytes and expected larger in the future) and a small amount of spare bytes (64-512 or more bytes for every page) for storing redundancy and metadata. The redundancy bytes are used to store error correcting information, for correcting errors which may have occurred during flash lifetime and the page read process. Each program operation is performed on an entire page. A number of pages are grouped together to form an Erase Block (erase block). A page cannot be erased unless the entire erase block which contains it is erased.
"One common application of flash memory devices is Secure Digital (SD) cards and embedded Multi-Media Cards (eMMC). An SD/eMMC card may typically contain flash memory devices and a flash memory controller. The controller translates commands coming in through the SD/eMMC interface into actions (Read/Write/Erase) on the flash memory devices. The most common SD/eMMC commands may be Read and Write commands of one or more sectors, where a sector may be, but is not limited to, a sequence of 512 bytes. The Read or Write commands may be of a single sector or multiple sectors. These commands may refer to logical addresses. These addresses may then be redirected to new addresses on the flash memory which need not directly correspond to the logical addresses that might be referenced by the Read or Write commands. This is due to memory management that may be carried out by the flash memory controller in order to support several features such as wear-leveling, bad block management, firmware code and data, error-correction, and others. The erase function is performed on an entire erase block. Because of this functionality, before the data of a certain block may be replaced such as during a write function, the new data must be written in an alternative location before an erase can occur, to preserve the integrity of the stored data.
"Due to the small dimensions of a typical SD/eMMC card and the price limitations, the controller may typically have only a small RAM available for storage. The small size of the RAM memory limits the type of memory management which may be carried out by the controller with regard to the data stored in the flash memory device and received from the interface.
"The controller may typically manage the memory at the erase block level, because managing data of small particle sizes becomes difficult. That is, the logical memory space may be divided into units of memory contained within a single erase block or some constant multiple of erase blocks, such that all logical sector addresses within each said unit of memory may be mapped to the same erase block or some constant multiple thereof.
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