Underpowering NAND Flash: Profits and Perils
MLC flash memory is getting more popular in computer systems ranging from sensor networks and embedded systems to large-scale server systems. However, MLC flash has many reliability concerns, including the potential for corruption due to supply voltage fluctuations. This paper characterizes MLC flash when the chip is underpowered (i.e., power fading and voltage droops). The authors demonstrate that underpowering flash can cause serious errors, but also help saving up to 45% of operation energy without incurring failure.