Bean Huo 霍斌斌 (beanhuo) beanhuo at micron.com
Wed May 4 00:40:25 PDT 2016

Hi, Richard 
Do you need our Micron 70s and 80s MLC NAND sample?
Current code only enable Hynix MLC NAND, can I send patch about this our MLC
NAND paired page distance to you? I already tested them on your codes.

Yours Faithfully
Cell :+86 183 2156 9399

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Weinberger [mailto:richard at nod.at]
> Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:29 PM
> To: linux-mtd at lists.infradead.org
> Cc: Alexander Kaplan <alex at nextthing.co>; Boris Brezillon
> <boris.brezillon at free-electrons.com>; David Gstir <david at sigma-star.at>;
> David Oberhollenzer <goliath at sigma-star.at>; Bean Huo 霍斌斌 (beanhuo)
> <beanhuo at micron.com>; Artem Bityutskiy <dedekind1 at gmail.com>
> Subject: [ANNOUNCE] MLC support for UBI/UBIFS
> Dear MTD folks,
> As some of you might have noticed, the last few months Boris and I have
> been heavily working on MLC support. Our first approaches targeted UBIFS
> since we thought MLC NAND's most annoying feature, namely the paired
> pages constraint, can be best addressed there. It turned out that UBIFS is the
> wrong layer and given the massive changes required to make it work, we had
> to go back to the drawing board, multiple times.
> Finally we came up with an approach which is a) rather simple and b) working.
> This approach operates on the UBI level and we call it "LEB consolidation", it
> is also known as "write lower and merge".
> The main problem with paired pages is that an interrupted write to a high
> page will also damage the content of its partner, the low page. Some MLC
> NANDs offer a safe SLC mode where only low pages are exposed and prevent
> data loss due to interrupted writes can happen. The obvious down side is that
> you lose 50% of your NAND's storage capacity.
> While SLC mode is clearly not an option for us, the "LEB consolidation"
> approach makes partial use of it. On MLC, UBI will operate on PEBs in two
> modes, software emulated SLC and raw mode.
> By default, LEBs are written in software emulated SLC mode. Hence, only
> lower pages are written, such that interrupted writes won't damage already
> written data. If UBI notices that it has no longer enough writable LEBs, it tries
> to consolidate two full LEBs. Full means that the last page has been written
> and therefore no further writes are expected. This works since you can
> program an erase block only in linear manner and on MLC the number of
> programs (NOP) is in general 1. This also means that there are no subpages.
> LEB consolidation works more or less like UBI's atomic LEB change feature.
> But instead of atomically exchanging the data of a LEB, it atomically moves
> the data of two LEBs into another LEB in raw mode.
> The pages of the source LEBs are read in SLC mode, on the consolidated LEB
> both low and high pages are used since raw mode is used.
> Consolidated LEBs are read-only by design. Especially as we merge only full
> LEBs.
> This also implies that a PEB can host one or two LEBs.
> If one LEB of a consolidated LEB pair is unmapped the other LEB is marked as
> candidate for consolidation again.
> If a PEB hosts consolidated LEBs it will carry two successive volume headers
> right after the erase counter header. Currently the relationship between PEBs
> and LEBs is 1:1, with MLC it is 1:2. Which means that UBI will expose two
> times as many LEBs as PEBs. This complicates UBI a bit and userspace
> interfacing needs some massaging since in many places the number of LEBs
> and PEBs were considered to be the same, and the two different concepts
> where kind of interchangeable.
> With MLC this matters and makes a difference.
> As UBI is only allowed to consolidate full LEBs, a user on top of UBI should try
> to fill LEBs as much as possible before mapping a new LEB. If half of all
> available LEBs are mapped but not filled UBI will refuse to map more since all
> available PEBs are full and there is no empty PEB to atomically consolidate
> two LEBs into. Luckily, UBIFS behaves sane and does not map new LEBs
> before previously mapped LEBs aren't full.
> Adding MLC support in UBI requires changes in the on-flash layout, as now
> two volume headers can exist. The original plan was just raising UBI version
> from 1 to 2 but this turned out as almost impossible as UBI userspace tools
> are not designed for backwards compatibility.
> They refuse to work when UBI version is not 1. Instead of doing a flag day
> release we stay with version 1 (for ever) and add a new feature flag to UBI
> which indicates which extra features the implementation supports.
> 0x1 will be "basic UBI version 1" support, and 0x2 "LEB consolidation".
> Our implementation is being tested on nandsim (with some hacks to have
> paired pages) and real MLC NAND from Hynix, Micron and Toshiba.
> So far it seems to work and no major issues have been spotted.
> Of course it survives UBI tests too.
> We'll soon start sending patches. Some patches are already on the list and/or
> need an update.
> For full MLC NAND support patch series for NAND core, UBI and mtd-utils will
> be sent.
> The current (not ready for mainline) code can be found here:
> git://git.infradead.org/users/rw/ubi-mlc.git wip
> Feedback and tests reports are very welcome!
> We'd like to thank Next Thing co. for funding this work! :-)
> Thanks,
> //richard

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