Managing Device Lifecycle: Reconfigurable Constrained Codes for M/T/Q/P-LC Flash Memories

HAREEDY A., Dabak B., Calderbank R.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol.67, no.1, pp.282-295, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tit.2020.3032407
  • Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, MathSciNet, Metadex, zbMATH, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.282-295
  • Keywords: Asymmetric constrained codes, q-ary codes, lexicographic ordering, data storage, Flash memories, non-binary gates, reconfigurable codes, device lifetime, MITIGATE INTERCELL INTERFERENCE, CAPACITY


© 1963-2012 IEEE.Flash memory devices are winning the competition for storage density against magnetic recording devices. This outcome results from advances in physics that allow storage of more than one bit per cell, coupled with advances in signal processing that reduce the effect of physical instabilities. Constrained codes are used in storage to avoid problematic patterns, and thus prevent errors from happening. Recently, we introduced binary symmetric lexicographically-ordered constrained codes (LOCO codes) for data storage and data transmission. LOCO codes are capacity-achieving, simple, and can be easily reconfigured. This paper introduces simple constrained codes that support non-binary physical gates in multi, triple, quad, and the currently-in-development penta-level cell (M/T/Q/P-LC) Flash memories. The new codes can be easily modified if problematic patterns change with time. These codes are designed to mitigate inter-cell interference, which is a critical source of error in Flash devices. The occurrence of errors is a consequence of parasitic capacitances in and across floating-gate transistors, resulting in charge propagation from cells being programmed to the highest charge level to neighboring cells being programmed to lower levels or unprogrammed/erased. This asymmetric nature of error-prone patterns distinguishes Flash memories. The new codes are called $q$ -ary asymmetric LOCO codes (QA-LOCO codes), and the construction subsumes codes previously designed for single-level cell (SLC) Flash devices (A-LOCO codes). QA-LOCO codes work for a Flash device with any number, $q$ , of levels per cell. For $q \geq 4$ , we show that QA-LOCO codes can achieve rates greater than $0.95 \log _{2} \!q$ input bits per coded symbol. The complexity of encoding and decoding is modest, and reconfiguring a code is as easy as reprogramming an adder. Capacity-achieving rates, affordable encoding-decoding complexity, and ease of reconfigurability support the growing improvement of M/T/Q/P-LC Flash memory devices, as well as lifecycle management as the characteristics of these devices change with time, which increases their lifetime.