Storage

Solid State Storage for any industrial embedded application

 

vtView Microsite

Virtium’s StorFly® and TuffDrive® SSDs are made for extreme conditions in industrial embedded applications. Most SSDs are available with industrial temp (-40ºC to 85ºC) ratings. They include vtGuard® and can be accessed by Virtium’s vtView® software. vtSecure® options include Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs).  Virtium’s SSDs carry three- or five-year warranties.


StorFly SSDs

StorFly® SATA and PCIe solid state storage solutions are ideal for heavy-duty industrial embedded applications that include boot drives, data logging, caching and backup.  StorFly drives come in three classes:  CE (MLC), XE (iMLC) and PE (SLC).

2.5" SATA

storfly_2-5-silver-225x316StorFly® 25 2.5″ SATA SSDs are ideal for industrial automation, networking, server, blade and medical applications that require high performance in an industry-standard 2.5” form factor. They are ideal as rugged alternatives to 2.5” HDDs and are also used in many military and ruggedized portable computers and data recorders.

StorFly 25 Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 5v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 69.85 x 100.5  x 7/9.5

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media MLC iMLC SLC
Capacity 30GB-960GB 16GB-480GB 8GB-256GB
*Endurance 1X Baseline 7X Baseline 30X Baseline
Operating Temperature 0º to 70ºC -40º to 85ºC -40º to 85ºC
Warranty 3 Years 5 Years 5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

2.5-Mech

Ordering Information

VSF B25 Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

B25 = Form factor

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

1.8" SATA

storfly_1-8-173x238x

StorFly® 18 1.8″ SATA SSDs deliver an optimal solid-state storage solution for embedded and industrial systems that may require a high-reliability replacement to hard-to-find 1.8” HDDs. StorFly 18 SSDs are also smaller, thinner, ejectable alternatives to 2.5″ SATA SSDs that provide the benefit of enhanced serviceability without the need for a hot-swap carrier. At a 5mm thickness, StorFly 18 SSDs are ideal for 1U server and blade applications where airflow and cooling are high priorities.

StorFly 18 Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 5v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 54.00 x 78.25 x 5.0

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media MLC iMLC SLC
Capacity 30GB-960GB 16GB-480GB 8GB-256GB
*Endurance 1X Baseline 7X Baseline 30X Baseline
Operating Temperature 0º to 70ºC -40º to 85ºC -40º to 85ºC
Warranty 3 Years 5 Years 5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

1.8-Mech

Ordering Information

VSF B18 Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

B18 = Form factor

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

Slim SATA

storfly_slimsata-240x172

StorFly® Slim SATA (MO-297) SSDs are ideal for networking, embedded, industrial and Advanced TCA applications that implement a standard SATA 3Gbps socket but require a form factor with a volume that is roughly 15% that of a 2.5-inch SSD.

StorFly Slim SATA Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 5v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 54 x 39 x 4.8

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media

MLC

iMLC

SLC

Capacity

30GB-480GB

16GB-480GB

8GB-256GB

*Endurance

1X Baseline

7X Baseline

30X Baseline

Operating Temperature

0º to 70ºC

-40º to 85ºC

-40º to 85ºC

Warranty

3 Years

5 Years

5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

Slim SATA-Mech

Ordering Information

VSF 202 Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

202 = Form factor

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

= Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

mSATA

StorFly_mSATA-213×370StorFly® mSATA (MO-300) SSDs are optimal storage solutions for medical, networking and embedded applications that require high performance in a small form factor.

StorFly mSATA offers a superior solution for system designs that implement SATA connectivity over a widely-used socket that has the added benefit of industry-standard clamping mechanism, making them ideal for wearable or vehicle computers and other high shock and vibration applications.

StorFly mSATA Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 3.3v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 50.00 x 30.00 x 3.7

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media MLC iMLC SLC
Capacity 30GB-960GB 16GB-480GB 8GB-256GB
*Endurance 1X Baseline 7X Baseline 30X Baseline
Operating Temperature 0º to 70ºC -40º to 85ºC -40º to 85ºC
Warranty 3 Years 5 Years 5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

 mSATA-Mech

Ordering Information

VSF 302 Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

302 = Form factor and product class

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

M.2 SATA and PCIe

storfly-m-2-2242-2260-2280_333x419StorFly® M.2 SATA and PCIe SSDs deliver an optimal solid-state storage solution for embedded and industrial systems that require high performance in a small form factor.

M.2 requires less power and generates less heat, which improves the devices’ reliability in systems where space is limited and airflow minimal, if not absent entirely. This provides system designers with the capability to scale their capacity by allowing integration of multiple SSDs all within a limited power budget or system footprint.

StorFly M.2 Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 3.3v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 42.15 x 22.15 x 3.65 (2242) 80.15 x 22.15 x 3.65 (2280)

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media

MLC

iMLC

SLC

Capacity

30GB-*960GB
*2280 only

16GB-480GB

8GB-256GB

*Endurance

1X Baseline

7X Baseline

30X Baseline

Operating Temperature

0º to 70ºC

-40º to 85ºC

-40º to 85ºC

Warranty

3 Years

5 Years

5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

2242 Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

M.2 2240 Mech 

2280 Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

M.2 2280 Mech

Ordering Information

VSF BM#  Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

BM# = Form factor:  BM4=2242, BM6=2260, BM8=2280

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

CFast SATA

storfly_cfast_200x174StorFly® CFast SATA SSDs match the storage requirements of industrial automation, networking and medical applications that demand high performance in a small, framed form factor.

CFast is the same footprint as a CompactFlash, but offers a plug-in SATA interface. CFast SSDs can be used in either fixed or removable devices, but unlike moving to SD, most ATA-based software can be directly leveraged into new SATA CFast designs.

StorFly CFast Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface SATA 6G (SATA III), 3G and 1.5G
Voltage / Power 5v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 42.80 x 36.40 x 3.30

CE1Good

XE1Better

PE1Best

Media

MLC

iMLC

SLC

Capacity

30GB-480GB

16GB-480GB

8GB-256GB

*Endurance

1X Baseline

7X Baseline

30X Baseline

Operating Temperature

0º to 70ºC

-40º to 85ºC

-40º to 85ºC

Warranty

3 Years

5 Years

5 Years

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

 CFast-Mech

Ordering Information

VSF CS2 Y X xxxG-xxx

where:

VSF = Virtium StorFly

CS2 = Interface / Form Factor

= Product class: C=CE, X=XE, P=PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary


TuffDrive SSDs

TuffDrive® solutions are ideal for heavy-duty networking and embedded applications that require a modest amount of storage for non-SATA designs.


eUSB Modules

tuffdrive_eusb-2-0-3-0_195x243TuffDrive® eUSB embedded USB 2.0 and 3.0 SSDs are ideal solutions for networking, embedded and industrial applications that require a modest amount of storage and utilize Altera, Cavium, Freescale, Renesas, Xilinx or other chipsets that may not have an integrated SATA interface. Even if a host system does have integrated SATA, many engineers find embedded USB modules beneficial for storing system configuration information and for providing a backup repository for data in DRAM in the event of a system-level power-down.

TuffDrive eUSB Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface USB
Capacities 2GB to 64GB
Voltage/Power  5v / 1.7W
UBER  <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
MTBF  > 2M hours
*Endurance 30X Baseline
Dimensions (mm) 69.85 x 100.5 x 7 / 9.5
Warranty 5 Years
10-pin 2.00mm 10-pin 2.54mm
Dimensions 36.90 x 26.60 36.90 x 26.60 x 5.95
Environmental MIL-STD-810F MIL-STD-810F

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

10-pin 2.00mm (U32) Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

 eUSB mod-LP-Mech

10-pin 2.54mm (U31) Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

eUSB mod-Mech

 

Ordering Information

VTD Uxx P X xxx(G/M)-xxx

where:

VTD = Virtium TuffDrive

Uxx =  U31 or U32

P = PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxx(G/M) = Gigabyte / Megabyte

xxx = Virtium proprietary

USB Keys

tuffdrive-usb-key-111x219TuffDrive® USB long and short 2.0 and 3.0 USB keys are ideal solutions for networking, embedded and industrial applications that require a modest amount of storage and utilize Altera, Cavium, Freescale, Renesas, Xilinx or other chipsets that may not have an integrated SATA interface. Even if a host system does have integrated SATA, many engineers find embedded USB modules beneficial for storing system configuration information and for providing a backup repository for data in DRAM in the event of a system-level power-down.

TuffDrive USB Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface USB
Capacities 2GB to 64GB
Voltage/Power  5v / 1.7W
UBER  <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
MTBF  > 2M hours
*Endurance 30X Baseline
Dimensions (mm) 69.85 x 100.5 x 7 / 9.5
Warranty 5 Years
Short Key Long Key
Dimensions 45.35 x 17.90 x 6.20 71.40 x 17.90 x 8.00
Environmental IEC 68-2-27 & IEC 68-2-6 IEC 68-2-27 & IEC 68-2-6

 

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Short Key (U34) Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

eUSB key-short-Mech

Long Key (U35) Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

eUSB key-long-Mech

Ordering Information

VTD Uxx P X xxx(G/M)-xxx

where:

VTD = Virtium TuffDrive

Uxx =  U34 or U35

P = PE

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxx(G/M) = Gigabyte / Megabyte

xxx = Virtium proprietary

2.5" PATA

tuffdrive-pata-172x246TuffDrive® P25 2.5” PATA solid-state drives (SSD) are designed for the unique capacity, workload and product lifecycle requirements of a broad range of embedded systems including networking, industrial automation, medical and gaming equipment as well as point-of-sale terminals and data recorders and legacy computing systems.

TuffDrive P25 PATA SSDs are rugged, high performance alternatives to hard-to-find PATA hard drives.

TuffDrive PATA Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Capacities 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB (CE only).
Interface PATA
NAND Flash SLC
Voltage/Power 5V / 1.7W
Commercial Temp. 0ºC to 70Cº
Industrial Temp. -40ºC to 85Cº
MTBF 3M hours
*Endurance 30X Baseline
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Warranty 5 years
Dimensions (mm) 100.5 x 69.85 x 9.5
Read Sequential 100 MBs
Write Sequential 60 MBs
Environmental MIL-STD-810F

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

 2.5-Mech

Ordering Information

VTD P25 P X xxxG-xxx

where:

VTD = Virtium TuffDrive

P25 = 2.5″ SLC Form factor

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxxG = Capacity (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)

xxx = Virtium proprietary

CompactFlash (CF)

tuffdrive-cf_194x163TuffDrive® CompactFlash (CF) cards are optimal storage solutions for the rugged requirements of single board computers and a variety of embedded systems ranging from point of sale terminals to networking equipment to industrial automation. They include field upgradeable firmware functionality. Despite some companies exiting the CompactFlash business, Virtium is committed to this form factor in the industrial embedded market.

TuffDrive CF Product Brief PDF

Specifications

Interface PATA / PCMICIA
Voltage / Power 5v / 1.7W
UBER <1 sector error in 1015 bits read
Environmental MIL-STD-810F
Compliance ATA/ATAPI-8 (ACS-2), FCC, CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE
Dimensions (mm) 36.4 x 42.8 x 3.3
Media SLC
Operating Temperature -40º to 85ºC
*Endurance 30X Baseline
Warranty 5 Years
4A8 1C1 1C1
Capacities 128MB to 512MB 1GB to 16GB 32GB to 128GB
CFA Compliance CFA 3.0 CFA 4.1 CFA 4.1

* Endurance Baseline = one entire drive write per day for the entire warranty period.

Form Factor (click image to enlarge):

 CF-Mech

Ordering Information

VTD CFA P X  xxx(G/M)-xxx

where:

VTD  = Virtium TuffDrive

CFA = CompactFlash

P = PE Class

X = Operating temp: C=Commercial (0º to 70ºC), I=Industrial (-40º to 85ºC)

xxx(G/M) = Gigabyte / Megabyte

xxx = 4A8, 1×7, 1C1


Resources

vtView SSD Software

Analyze, qualify and monitor Virtium SSDs to improve reliability and longevity.

vtView Microsite

vtView 5-min Video

vtView Product Brief

SSD FAQs

Q1: Is there a utility/tool or operation guide for SMART command?

A1: A SMART attribute description for StorFly drives is available. Customers can issue standard SMART commands to get SMART data.

Q2: What is Virtium’s over-provisioning percentage?

A2: SSD manufacturers implement various methods to improve performance, and one of these is to allocate more free space, a process known as over-provisioning.​ Virtium’s over-provisioning percentage for standard part numbers is typically 7% of the capacity. For custom part numbers, this value can be set to any value that customers need.

Q3: What is the spare capacity of an overprovisioned drive (resulting in reduced user capacity) used for?

 A3: The over-provisioned capacity that nets 240GB, for example, is primarily used for flash management to help reduce write amplification and improve wear-leveling efficiency as well as increase the number of spare blocks for bad/worn block replacement resulting in improved drive endurance.

Q4: Can a SATA 6Gb drive be configured for 3Gb access only (i.e. can automatic selection of either 6Gb/3Gb be disabled)?

 A4: Fixed 3Gb mode can be supported in a custom configuration (under custom part#).

Q5: How does StorFly SATA negotiate the SATA link speed?

A5: During the power-up sequence, the host will issue Identify Drive, Mode Sense, and Read commands. The StorFly device will respond with Identify Device data (specifically word 76 – Serial ATA capabilities) as shown in the StorFly datasheet. The drive will negotiate from its highest SATA link mode (SATA-III/6Gb) first and then work down to lower modes until a successful negotiation is established.

Q6: Do StorFly drives support TRIM?

 A6: All StorFly drives support TRIM.

Q7: How do StorFly drives maintain steady performance over the life of the drive? Does Virtium precondition its drives?

 A7: All Virtium drives are preconditioned (program/erase drive 2 times) during test so documented performance numbers are based on “steady-state” performance meaning that no appreciable performance degradation should occur over life of drive. If a customer wishes to see the same steady-state performance in their application then they should also precondition the drives before deploying. Otherwise, the TRIM feature in the drive firmware helps to minimize performance degradation, although there may be some small latency effects at certain times when the drive is conducting flash management activities including TRIM, garbage collection, mapping table updates, etc. This is true of all SSDs from any vendor.

Q8:Does Virtium fully test each drive before shipping it out?

 A8: Yes, Virtium’s production test covers a full drive write on every drive. This means we write and verify every LBA of each drive before we ship out. We also test at industrial temperatures for I-temp rated configurations.

Q9: When do Virtium drives become read only?

 A9: Drives become read only when spare = 0, regardless of life remaining.

Q10: Do Virtium drives stop working when the SMART attribute life remaining is zero?

 A10: The drive will still run when life remaining = 0 and will continue to run for a while. However, it is not recommend to keep running when life = 0 as it can fail any time after that.

Q11: Could you clarify the difference between SMART attribute 0xA1 and 0xF9?

 A11: SMART attribute 0xA1 (161) = Number of remaining spare blocks

 

 

SMART attribute 0xF9 (249) = Percentage of remaining spare blocks​

If the initial spare block count is 100, then both values will be identical – 50 spare blocks remaining equals 50%.

If the initial spare block count is 110, then the values will be different – 50 spare blocks remaining equals 45%.

Additionally, users can benefit from Virtium’s vtView software, which provides a time-based estimate of the remaining spare blocks versus a percentage.

Q12: What is the NAND endurance of MLC, iMLC, and SLC and how do I read it?

A12: CE class (MLC, *1X with 3-year warranty) Example: 240 GB, 601 TBW / 2.3 DWPD (3 years)

XE class (iMLC, offers 7X endurance compared to CE with 5-year warranty)

Example: 240 GB, 4207 TBW / 9.6 DWPD (5 years)

PE class (SLC, offers 30X endurance compared to CE with 5-year warranty) Example: 256 GB, 23,880 TBW / 51 DWPD (5 years)

*Endurance baseline = one entire drive-write-per-day for the entire warranty period. Results are higher/lower based on various read/write workloads.

Q13: What is the difference between M.2 keys: B, M, and B+M?

A13: Currently an M.2 SSD has either one of three key types: B, M, or B+M. 1) ‘B’ keying (pins 12-19) gives PCI Express SSDs up to 2x lanes of bandwidth. 2) ‘M’ keying (pins 59-66) provides PCI Express SSDs with up to 4x lanes of bandwidth. ​​​ Note: Even with 2x lanes of bandwidth, a ‘B’ keyed M.2 SSD still gives 10Gbit/s performance, whereas the 4x lanes on ‘M’ give up to 20Gbit/s. 3) M.2 SSDs with B+M keying maximize compatibility in both slots, and will operate with 2x lanes of bandwidth.​​ See image below.

 

connectors

Q14: What is Virtium’s secure erase and how does it work?

A14: The user issues a SATA command to implement a secure erase, which will physically erase all user data blocks including spare areas. Virtium’s secure erase is persistent over power cycles. If the drive loses power during the erase, it will automatically resume erasing upon subsequent power cycles.

Q15: What is AHCI?

A15: AHCI is a technical standard that specifies the operation of Serial ATA (SATA) host bus adapters in a non-implementation-specific manner. AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface. ​AHCI mode must be enabled to use Native Command Queuing (NCQ) or Hot Plugging (aka Hot Swapping) functionality as well as Power Management in SATA storage devices.

Q16: Why does Virtium use tantalum capacitors in our designs?

A16: We use tantalum capacitors as a part of our vtGuard power down protection technology for StorFly and TuffDrive SSDs. Tantalum capacitors have the best energy density for small form factor SSDs like eUSB, CF, M.2, mSATA, Slim SATA, and CFast. Tantalum capacitors also offer a wide operating temperature range making them ideal for use in industrial environments. 

Q17: What type of conformal coat does Virtium use?

A17: The material is acrylic Humiseal 1B31.​ http://www.humiseal.com/products/acrylics/1b31/ 

Q18: What is MIL-STD-810? Which Virtium products are compliant?

A18: MIL-STD-810 is a US military standard that specifies a set of environmental conditions (i.e. extreme temperatures, high shock/vibration) that the product must meet for compliance. All Virtium StorFly SSDs support the MIL-STD-810F environmental standard. Tests conducted include EMI, temperature, operating/non-operating shock, operating/non-operating vibration, and altitude testing.

 

 

SED FAQs

Q1: How does self-encryption differ from other common SSD (e.g. software) encryption solutions?

A1: Self-encrypting drives include dedicated AES encryption engines that do not require software to run on the host. Dedicated hardware encryption typically has superior performance compared to software based solutions. Software can also be corrupted or negated whereas hardware cannot as software runs under an operating system that is vulnerable to viruses and other attacks. Furthermore, an operating system, by definition, provides open access to applications and thus exposes these access points to improper use. Hardware-based security can more effectively restrict access from the outside, especially to unauthorized use.

Q2: What is unique about Virtium’s SED solution?

 A2: SED is the industry’s only true industrial SSD solution supporting all SATA formats including those like Slim SATA, mSATA and CFast that are not typically supported by competitive solutions. Virtium is also one of the few that supports all StorFly drive classes including SLC (PE), iMLC (XE) and CE (MLC).

Q3: What are some key features and corresponding benefits of the SED product?

 A3: In order of importance:

Feature 1: integrated AES encryption engine with self-encrypting capabilities Benefit: no burden on host system and no extra host encryption elements required.

Feature 2: supports rapid sanitization via “crypto-erase” as well as standard secure erase Benefit: sanitizes SED in milliseconds, at very low power and is unaffected by power loss to SED; secure erase wipes all NAND blocks including spare area.

Feature 3: supports all SATA formats, not just 2.5” and M.2 like most competitors Benefit: first industrial SSD supporting full range of embedded form-factors providing system designers with options previously unavailable.

Feature 4: supports all StorFly drives including SLC (PE), iMLC (XE) and MLC (CE) Benefit: wide range of endurance and performance options to meet most any application and price target.

Feature 5: supports industrial operating temperatures (-40Cº to 85Cº) Benefit: extends new levels of security to designs in extreme operating conditions.

Q4: Which Virtium products does SED support?

A4: SED supports StorFly SATA and PCIe SSDs as well as TuffDrive USB solutions. 

Q5: Is the encryption automatic or does it require a user command?

A5: Encryption is automatic and does not require any special commands by the user/host.

Q6: Can the encryption be disabled?

 A6: Encryption cannot be disabled in the SED solution. Each SED solution has an equivalent non-encryption solution that can be ordered under its own part number.

Q7: How is the key on the drive protected?

 A7: The original encryption key value is generated in the factory by an on-board random number process; it never leaves the drive. When the drive is configured by the user (or IT), the authorization key is used to encrypt the encryption key inside the drive, so the key is never stored in the clear. The encryption key can be changed by the user administration function (IT department), which ensures that anybody who might have had possession of the drive before the user puts it into service could not have obtained any information that might help in later retrieving data from the drive.

Q8: What happens to data in flight?

A8: Different and proven techniques (e.g. SSL/TNS) are used to protect data in flight. Self-encrypting drives are focused on data at rest.

Q9: How is the access to the drive secured to allow only the Authorized user to access it? Is there a boot-up password that is entered via a BIOS dialog?

A9: When the BIOS requests the Master Boot Record (MBR) from the drive, the drive instead returns the pre-boot record to the user. This pre-boot record is a complete, though quite restricted OS, usually something simple like MS-DOS or LINUX. The pre-boot image requests the Authentication Credentials from the user, which are passed to and checked directly by the drive logic. If accepted, then the drive returns the MBR and the OS is loaded. Important point: This pre-boot authentication is the FIRST thing that happens and is controlled by the drive directly. This has the added advantages of not modifying the MBR, which many software encryption products do, and allowing the MBR to be encrypted like all other user accessible data. Virtium also supports customizable “secure boot” options built on the OPAL trusted send/receive command. As the SED does not provide protection from unauthorized viewing, it is recommended to use the supported ATA security commands set passwords for preventing unauthorized access which, when used in conjunction with data encryption, makes the data on the drive unreadable for unauthorized users.

Q10: What happens to data if the DEK is stored in drive space that goes bad? Is the data lost or is there any way to recover?

A10: An SED is used to protect the one copy of data stored on that one drive. Good security practice dictates that important data is backed up somewhere else for recovery. To mitigate the occasional bad sector issue, Virtium’s SED stores the encryption key in several storage locations, thus greatly minimizing the chance that all encrypted copies are lost.

Q11: How is data recovery from a crashed SED handled?

A11: If the encrypted data, the DEK, and the Authentication Key are not available, then the data is NOT recoverable from that one drive. However, good security practice encourages valuable data to be backed up. Simply retrieve the back-up copy.

Q12: Is drive sanitization now a thing of the past?

A12: Drive sanitization is still required but is much easier now. Using supported vendor commands, the host can randomize the SED’s internal AES key – rendering the data unreadable (erased for all intent and purposes) almost instantly and at very low power. Virtium’s sanitization method satisfies the NIST 800-88 sanitization requirements. The same vendor command also initiates a secure erase of the SSD which includes the wiping of data from all NAND blocks including the spare area.

Q13: What happens if the sanitization / secure erase is interrupted from a loss of power, does it need to be manually restarted?

A13: Virtium’s sanitization method is persistent across power cycles, meaning that if the SED loses power, the sanitization/erase will resume automatically upon power being supplied to the SED.”

Q14: What is the time difference between sanitizing an encrypted vs non-encrypted drive?

A14: The time difference depends on the size of the drive. It takes less than a second to erase/ overwrite the DEK in an SED, irrespective of the capacity. It can take hours-to-days to overwrite a large capacity non-SED drive. 

Q15. Are there any countries where encryption based products cannot be shipped?

A15: SEDs have received EXPORT licenses from the U.S. Dept/Commerce/BIS but there are some countries that the U.S. federal government does restrict shipments to as they are considered dangerous. There are several web sites that track this information and it is best that the user check before shipping any encryption products. One should also keep in mind that an SED is not a general purpose encryption tool. The cipher-text is not available to the user; rather, it exists on the drive media.

Q16: What security standards are supported with SED?

A16: Virtium SEDs are compatible with the pre-boot authentication environment and authentication features in the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Opal 2.0 standard. Sanitization features also satisfy NIST Special Publication 800-88 Revision 1 sanitization requirements.