Exploiting internal parallelism for address translation in solid-state drives

Wei Xie, Yong Chen, Philip C. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Solid-state Drives (SSDs) have changed the landscape of storage systems and present a promising storage solution for data-intensive applications due to their low latency, high bandwidth, and low power consumption compared to traditional hard disk drives. SSDs achieve these desirable characteristics using internal parallelism-parallel access to multiple internal flash memory chips-and a Flash Translation Layer (FTL) that determines where data are stored on those chips so that they do not wear out prematurely. However, current state-of-the-art cache-based FTLs like the Demand-based Flash Translation Layer (DFTL) donot allow IO schedulers to take full advantage of internal parallelism, because they impose a tight coupling between the logical-to-physical address translation and the data access. To address this limitation, we introduce a new FTL design called Parallel-DFTL that works with the DFTL to decouple address translation operations from data accesses. Parallel-DFTL separates address translation and data access operations into different queues, allowing the SSD to use concurrent flash accesses for both types of operations. We also present a Parallel-LRU cache replacement algorithm to improve the concurrency of address translation operations. To compare Parallel-DFTL against existing FTL approaches, we present a Parallel-DFTL performance model and compare its predictions against those for DFTL and an ideal page-mapping approach. We also implemented the Parallel-DFTL approach in an SSD simulator using real device parameters, and used trace-driven simulation to evaluate Parallel-DFTL's efficacy. Our evaluation results show that Parallel-DFTL improved the overall performance by up to 32% for the real IO workloads we tested, and by up to two orders of magnitude with synthetic test workloads. We also found that Parallel-DFTL is able to achieve reasonable performance with a very small cache size and that it provides the best benefit for those workloads with large request size or with high write ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalACM Transactions on Storage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Address translation
  • DFTL
  • Flash translation layer
  • Parallelism
  • SSD


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