Can You See Inside Your SSD?

MagnifyingGlassPersonLooking_iStock_000011392270XSmallThe key ingredient to a successful industrial device design is durable solid-state storage. While any embedded industrial designer can save money by specifying low-cost choices here, it’s crucial to note that most of these devices must withstand harsh environments and accommodate read/write data activity that goes far beyond the norm. In addition to the best components and manufacturing, solid-state devices of choice provide a detailed window inside the drive – enabling monitoring and fine-tuning to reduce surprises and prolong drive life.

Industrial embedded capacity requirements are increasing beyond the point where Single Layer Cell (SLC) SSD drives fit the storage budget. So the choice is limited to Multi Layer Cell (MLC) or some type of pseudo-SLC. Unlike other markets, there is no “typical” workload in the industrial market. Many industrial embedded designers don’t understand what their workload is or at what point extended temperatures start to adversely affect endurance and data retention.

Some manufactures are enlarging the window inside their SSD drives (beyond the S.M.A.R.T. information originally found in HDDs) to enable designers to intelligently view, tune / over-provision and secure their drives. This larger window also enables designers to use MLC drives with the confidence that they will perform with maximum endurance, performance and budget for their design.

Virtium is focusing its efforts to expand the window into its drives with the development of its SSD Software Suite. This suite of tools helps designers understand workload histories, wear, performance tuning and when to plan maintenance and transitions.

Stay tuned as we continue to share insight on all of these variables and the tools available for optimum industrial embedded SSD implementation.