Samsung has come up with a new “flash-friendly” file system for NAND flash memory-based storage devices such as SSDs, SD cards and eMMCs. Called F2FS, the file system tackles problems associated with older file systems intended mainly for older physical storage systems, such as issues in accessing data stored on specific, physical locations on the drive itself, and the read/write limits on flash storage. Flash memory-based storage devices face no such problems as they are a form of solid-state storage and F2FS takes advantage of this.
Jaegeuk Kim of Samsung states that the file system has been optimised for NAND flash memory-based storage devices. “We chose a log structure file system approach, but we tried to adapt it to the new form of storage. Also we remedy some known issues of the very old log structured file system, such as snowball effect of wandering tree and high cleaning overhead,” he wrote on the Linux Kernel Mailing List.
“Because a NAND-based storage device shows different characteristics according to its internal geometry or flash memory management scheme aka FTL, we add various parameters not only for configuring on-disk layout, but also for selecting allocation and cleaning algorithms,” he added.
Brings out a new file system for flash storage
What’s the best news of all though is the fact that the file system can be used for free, as Samsung has decided to make it open source and submitted it to the Linux kernel. This means we can soon look forward to developers using the file system for flash-based storage in Android devices, as Android is based on the Linux kernel. Submitting the file system to the Linux kernel also makes it easy for OEMs to use and implement it on their devices, thus increasing hopes of the file system being used widely.
Samsung has been quite actively supporting the open source community for some time now. The company regularly releases the source code for its Android smartphones soon after it launches them. Samsung earlier this week released the source code the international version of the Galaxy Note II, the GT-N7100, allowing open source developers to develop custom ROMs and tweaks for the Jelly Bean-running phablet. Sometime last year, Samsung also decided to gift the CyanogenMod team some four Galaxy S II phones free of charge so they could run tests and create more custom ROMs for its phones.
Samsung later also showed more interest in the mod customising development by hiring Steve Kondik, who headed the CyanogenMod team. CyanogenMod is responsible for bringing a whole bunch of additional features and performance hacks to smartphones.
Thanks to such open source-friendliness, custom modding groups have thus been able to release custom ROMs for new Samsung devices pretty quickly, much to the envy of the owners of smartphones made by other OEMs.
Take a deeper look at what the new file system promises here.