SSD Firmware Matters

firmware-matters2-300x245When OEMs and customers are considering solid-state storage solutions, their first instinct is to look at hardware specifications and investigate the various components that went into the SSD. Quality NAND flash and controllers are obviously very important, but firmware can never be overlooked. With embedded SSDs, firmware matters just as much as hardware.

Firmware works with an SSD’s controller to manage the data storage onto the NAND, and also maintains the performance and lifespan of the drive. While the controller essentially “controls” the SSD and performs the reads, writes, and various algorithms that keep the SSD fast and clean, the firmware is the true director; it drives the controller.

Firmware is perhaps the most vital component of a quality industrial SSD. Many storage solutions may contain the exact same pieces of hardware, but the firmware is what really determines which embedded SSDs will perform the best. Firmware has the largest impact on differences in endurance, reliability, and performance between drives from different vendors.

SSD manufacturers can either develop their own firmware from the ground up, or implement a “cookie cutter” one from a third-party developer. System designers may want to seek a ground-up firmware that will enable:

  • Firmware fine tuning whenever needed
  • Timely bug fixes
  • Implementation of advanced flash management features
  • Designing for customer specific applications
  • Compatibility with non-traditional and legacy operating systems

OEMs seeking industrial SSD solutions with the best endurance, performance, and reliability should always investigate the firmware to achieve best design result.