SSD Wear Leveling Count Explained
Solid-state drives (SSDs) that have flash memory have a finite lifespan. The length of time that an SSD will last depends on several different factors, including the grade of the flash that is used. SLC, or single-level cell, flash memory has the longest lifespan, followed by MLC (multi-level cell) flash. Only write operations contribute to the reduction in available program cycles. Read operations do not affect the lifespan of the device.
Although SSDs have long lives, it is still important for the drive to be used as efficiently as possible, so users can get the maximum usage from the device. That is where wear leveling enters the picture. Wear leveling is programmed into drives to ensure that data are being written to the appropriate physical block for the most efficient use of the drive. Wear leveling counts vary, depending on how the device is being used.
Dynamic and Static Wear Leveling
The two kinds of wear leveling that are used in drives are dynamic and static. Dynamic wear leveling ensures that data being written are assigned to the block with the lowest erase count. Although this is an effective way of managing efficiency, dynamic wear leveling never moves information that isn’t accessed to a different block. This means that it may take up space on a block that also contains critical data.
Static wear leveling does the same thing as dynamic wear leveling, but it adds the function of moving blocks of unused—or static—data when that block erase count falls under a pre-determined threshold. This action often means that static wear leveling slows the speed of write operations as compared to dynamic wear leveling, but it is considered to be more effective at extending the drive’s life.
SSD Wear Leveling Count and Drive Life
Wear leveling algorithms hum in the background of an SSD and don’t require any kind of user intervention. Having wear leveling is an important part of extending the life of the drive, but it will not ensure that two drives last for the same length of time. There are many internal factors, as well as many external factors, including operating conditions and the number of read versus write operations, will also play a role. However, wear leveling makes sure a drive is used as efficiently as possible for its particular working conditions and usage.
Delkin’s SSDs come with wear leveling to enhance their reliability and longevity. Our product team is available to answer your questions about SSD wear leveling count and other features so that you can find the right solution for your application.
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