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Patent Application Titled "Temperature-Defined Data-Storage Policy for a Hybrid Disk Drive" Published Online

September 9, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors BUDIMAN, Mine Wonkyung (Livermore, CA); SCHMIDT, Thorsten (Livermore, CA); EHRLICH, Richard M. (Saratoga, CA); DUNN, Eric R. (Cupertino, CA), filed on February 20, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments described herein relate generally to data storage units, systems and methods for storing data in a hybrid disk drive.

"Hybrid hard disk drives (HDDs) include one or more rotating magnetic disks combined with non-volatile solid-state (e.g., flash) memory. Generally, a hybrid HDD has both the capacity of a conventional HDD and the ability to access data as quickly as a solid-state drive, and for this reason hybrid drives are expected to be commonly used in laptop computers.

"However, the solid-state memory in hybrid drives generally suffers from the same sensitivity to high and low temperatures as that associated with solid-state drives. For example, memory cells in NAND-based solid-state drives are only operable for a limited number of program/erase cycles, and this number is greatly reduced when program/erase cycles are performed extensively at low temperatures. Thus, operation of a hybrid drive at temperatures lower than the optimal operating temperature range of the NAND memory can undesirably shorten the useful life of the NAND portion of the drive. Furthermore, at higher temperatures, data retention of NAND memory cells is greatly reduced. At very high temperatures, for example when a solid-state drive is greater than 60 to 80.degree. C., even short-term retention of data of NAND memory cells may become unreliable, and the NAND memory cells cannot be considered a dependable non-volatile data storage medium. This is because, in such situations, data stored in NAND memory cells may be lost at anytime. So while hybrid drives can incorporate some of the advantages of solid-state drives, hybrid drives also have some of the same shortcomings."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One or more embodiments provide systems and methods for storing data in a hybrid drive that includes a magnetic storage medium and a non-volatile solid-state device. During operation, detection of a hybrid drive temperature that is higher or lower than a normal desired operating range of the hybrid drive initiates implementation of a temperature-defined data-storage policy. According to the temperature-defined data-storage policy, the drive perform operations for modulating the temperature of the drive, minimizing increased wear on memory cells in the non-volatile solid-state device, and/or preventing data stored in the non-volatile solid-state device from being lost.

"A data storage device, according to embodiments, comprises a magnetic storage medium, a non-volatile solid-state device, and a controller. In one embodiment, the controller is configured to detect a temperature of the data storage device that is outside of a predetermined temperature range, and execute a write command received by the data storage device by writing data associated with the write command to the magnetic drive based on a detected temperature. In another embodiment, the controller is configured to detect a temperature of the data storage device that is lower than a predetermined temperature, and increment a program/erase cycle counter for the memory block by a temperature-dependent factor for each program/erase cycle experienced by the memory block based on a detected temperature. In still another embodiment, the controller is configured to detect a temperature of the data storage device that is outside of a predetermined temperature range, and change a rate of data transfer to the data storage device based on the detected temperature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"So that the manner in which the above recited features of embodiments can be understood in detail, a more particular description of embodiments, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

"FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an exemplary disk drive, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 2 illustrates an operational diagram of a hybrid drive with elements of electronic circuits shown configured to one embodiment.

"FIG. 3 sets forth a flowchart of method steps for storing data in a data storage device that includes a magnetic drive and a non-volatile solid-state drive, according to one or more embodiments.

"FIG. 4 sets forth a flowchart of method steps for storing data in a data storage device that includes a magnetic drive and a non-volatile solid-state drive, according to one or more embodiments.

"For clarity, identical reference numbers have been used, where applicable, to designate identical elements that are common between figures. It is contemplated that features of one embodiment may be incorporated in other embodiments without further recitation."

For more information, see this patent application: BUDIMAN, Mine Wonkyung; SCHMIDT, Thorsten; EHRLICH, Richard M.; DUNN, Eric R. Temperature-Defined Data-Storage Policy for a Hybrid Disk Drive. Filed February 20, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4563&p=92&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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