Symphonic™ Cooperative Zones are idealized, configurable Flash SSD zones that can be associated with namespaces.  Like earlier versions of Symphonic, these Cooperative Zones abstract vendor specific NAND attributes but present host systems with sequential write zones of ‘Idealized Flash’.  Configurable in size, Cooperative Zones are comprised of NAND Erase Units (blocks) that are subsets of the same physically isolated region of memory.   Routine Flash management processes are simplified, but still cooperative between the device and the host to provide determinism, parallelism and tail latencies that cannot be achieved with conventional Flash Translation Layers (FTL).

Zones are accessible via conventional Logical Block Addressing (LBA) through the NVMe command set.  Certain SMR zone commands, such as Zone Report and Zone Reset, are supported as part of extensions to the conventional NVMe command set.

All Firmware’ implementation & SPDK

Available on Radian’s RMS-350 U.2 SSD and RMS-325 edge card SSD, Symphonic Cooperative Zones is an ‘All Firmware’ SSD implementation that does not require any vendor host resident libraries.  This minimizes OS compatibility requirements and is especially advantageous in SPDK environments which do not require NVMe device drivers or use of the kernel block layer.  This enables existing targets to access the Cooperative Zoned SSD directly without transitioning through intermediary libraries.


Radian’s Address Space Layout (ASL) configurator enables users to configure the SSD Cooperative Zones to match the host file system’s segment size. This configurability minimizes modifications to host system software and associated integration efforts, in addition to write amplification.

Tiered Zones

Cooperative Zones can be factory configured to support different types of memory, ranging from NV-RAM to SLC and TLC today, and for SCM and QLC in the future.  Combined with Radian’s Delegated Move technology, this enables hosts to readily apply tiering between zones based upon different memory technologies to optimize efficiency trade-offs for cost, performance, capacity and endurance.

Cooperative Flash Management Model

Accessing a Symphonic Cooperative Zoned SSD follows the same host/device model as earlier Symphonic SSDs.  This enables the host to control data placement while the SSD abstracts lower level media management, including geometry and vendor-specific NAND attributes (‘Idealized Flash’).  Flash management processes such as garbage collection, wear leveling, and NAND maintenance are executed by the device, under cooperative host control, and hence performed deterministically.

  • Configurable, Cooperative Zones of ‘Idealized Flash’ are presented to the host as contiguous LBAs and discovered through the ‘Zone Report’ command (NVMe vendor extension).
  • As part of garbage collection, hosts are responsible for selecting valid data and a relocation destination on a different zone, either performing a copy/write operation directly or using Radian’s optional Delegated Move command (NVMe vendor extension) that delegates the data transfer to the device.
  • Zones are cleaned (erased) through the use of a ‘Zone Reset’ command (NVMe vendor extension) that is issued by the host to the device, or via a zone aligned NVMe deallocate command.
  • By default, routine wear leveling and NAND maintenance (data retention, scrubbing, error handling) are performed internally by the device without requiring host involvement or interfering with host latencies.
  • The device initiates a cooperative request to the host if additional wear leveling or other NAND maintenance is required that could conflict with host I/O access latencies.

  • Iso-boxes & Namespaces
    Iso-boxes are user configurable, discrete performance-isolated regions based upon NAND dies and channels that can be associated with namespaces.
  • ‘Idealized Flash’
    Cooperative zones are comprised of NAND Erase Units (blocks) that come from the same iso-boxes.Geometry emulation abstracts NAND geometry and vendor-specific attributes, presenting the host with zones of ‘Idealized Flash’.
  • Host Data Placement
    Sequential write zones are presented to the host as a contiguous range of LBAs and host data placement is preserved through to the media in that zone.  An optional Delegated Move operation enables the host to command the device to transfer data between zones.
  • Configurability
    Cooperative zones, iso-boxes, and write stripes are all user configurable.
  • Cooperative Garbage Collection
    After relocating valid data, zones are erased by the host issuing a ‘Zone Reset’ command to the SSD for the target zone, whereby the device immediately erases that zone.
  • ‘Decoupled’ Wear Leveling
    Routine wear leveling and NAND maintenance are performed internally by the SSD in a coherently aligned manner, where the device only initiates cooperative requests to the host if required data movement could conflict with other I/O access.

ZBD to NVMe Bridge

Radian offers an optional host library to customers utilizing a zone block device (ZBD) interface. Providing a protocol translation from the zone block device interface to NVMe, this bridge enables system software to access the Symphonic Cooperative Zoned SSD as a NVMe block device using a subset of the SMR zone block device commands.


1434855273_FEZ-03 Symphonic Cooperative Zones Product Overview