Adaptive read thresholds for NAND flash Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2015

start page

  • 3069

end page

  • 3081


  • 9


  • 63

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-6778

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-0857


  • A primary source of increased read time on NAND flash comes from the fact that, in the presence of noise, the flash medium must be read several times using different read threshold voltages for the decoder to succeed. This paper proposes an algorithm that uses a limited number of rereads to characterize the noise distribution and recover the stored information. Both hard and soft decoding are considered. For hard decoding, this paper attempts to find a read threshold minimizing bit error rate (BER) and derives an expression for the resulting codeword error rate. For soft decoding, it shows that minimizing BER and minimizing codeword error rate are competing objectives in the presence of a limited number of allowed rereads, and proposes a tradeoff between the two. The proposed method does not require any prior knowledge about the noise distribution but can take advantage of such information when it is available. Each read threshold is chosen based on the results of previous reads, following an optimal policy derived through a dynamic programming backward recursion. The method and results are studied from the perspective of an SLC Flash memory with Gaussian noise, but this paper explains how the method could be extended to other scenarios.


  • Mechanical Engineering


  • flash memory; multi-level memory; voltage threshold; adaptive read; soft information; symmetric capacity