This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "High density disk drives (HDDs) utilize a magnetic storage medium shaped as a disk and an I/O head that reads data from and writes to the magnetic disk. The drive spins the magnetic disk rapidly, currently 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM drives are widely used. The I/O head moves radially across the disk to reach any desired location on the disk for reading and writing data. In response to an I/O request, the drive has to spin the magnetic storage medium up to speed and also move the I/O head to the correct reading location, which imposes spinning disk and head move (seek) time latency into the I/O response. Computer users are demanding improved I/O performance of the non-volatile storage component of their personal computing devices. This has led to the adoption of solid-state non-volatile storage that eliminates the data access delays common to HDDs introduced by rotational latency of the spinning disk and the recording head move (seek) time required to access the customer or operating system requested data.
"The solid-state storage approach described above presents a drawback, however, because the solid state storage is relatively expensive, requires additional circuit board space, and adds a significant component to the cost of the system. There is, therefore, a continuing need for techniques to improve HDD I/O performance. More particularly, there is a need for HDD systems that do not rely on expensive solid state memory to improve the I/O performance of the system."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention meets the needs described above through an HDD performance enhancement system that utilizes excess disk capacity as cache memory to enhance the I/O performance of the drive. The capacity of current HDDs developed for many personal computing devices has outpaced the demand for local non-volatile data storage. The invention provides an alternative to solid state memory to improve the data access time in HDDs. The inventive technique utilizes excess storage space on the HDD itself and, in this manner, avoids the need for the addition of expensive solid-state non-volatile components.
"The cache memory is preferably distributed throughout the disk, for example on alternating tracks, sectors dedicated to serving as cache, or other distributed cache track segments or segment groups. Distributing the cache throughout the disk reduces the physical distance of the I/O head to the closest available cache location. The system minimizes the write seek time by storing write data in the closest available cache location. The cached write data is eventually written to permanent disk memory and cleared from the cache during idle or low data storage utilization periods. High utilization data may also be written to multiple cache locations distributed on the disk to reduce read seek time for high usage data. This allows the HDD to read the high utilization from the closest available block cache location to minimize read seek time.
"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not necessarily restrictive of the invention as claimed. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the general description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
"The numerous advantages of the invention may be better understood with reference to the accompanying figures in which:
"FIG. 1 is a conceptual illustration of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating potential cache locations.
"FIG. 2 is a track diagram of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating cache located on alternating tracks on the disk.
"FIG. 3 is a track diagram of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating cache located on distributed sectors on the disk.
"FIG. 4 is a track diagram of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating cache located on track segments forming a spiral pattern on the disk.
"FIG. 5 is a track diagram of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating cache located on track segment groups forming a spiral pattern on the disk.
"FIG. 6 is a track diagram of a magnetic storage disk for an HDD illustrating multiple storage locations for a high utilization block.
"FIG. 7 is a computer architecture diagram illustrating an HDD and HDD controller for implementing the HDD performance enhancement system utilizing distributed cache on the disk.
"FIG. 8 is a logic flow diagram for the HDD performance enhancement system utilizing distributed cache on the disk.
"FIG. 9 is a logic flow diagram for high utilization blocks in the HDD performance enhancement system utilizing distributed cache on the disk."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Huff,
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