Go Low (Power) Or Go Home

Power has several connotations in the tech world. When it comes to “speeds and feeds” – megahertz being a common measure — power is absolutely a plus; generally speaking, the faster the better. But power consumption? Well, that’s a different story entirely. Many an otherwise solid device or system design has been shelved due to power consumption being excessive and, thus, incompatible with its intended application. System designers often need to contend with uncomfortable tradeoffs between performance and power consumption.

The 5G wireless communications technology, for example, boasts phenomenal speeds — several times those of its 4G — and is ushering in a new age connectivity, yet demands significantly more power than its predecessor. According to a recent report by MTN Consulting, a typical 5G base station can consume more than twice the power of a 4G version. That clearly would give pause to a telecommunications device designer – perhaps even sinking the design altogether.

The demand for power-stingy products that still provide sufficient performance is particularly real for the various embedded-systems market segments to which Virtium supplies its industrial-grade solid-state drives: communications, energy, industrial control, medical, networking, transportation, and video/surveillance. These SSDs are often deployed in systems with the lowest-possible power allowance and where higher-power components generate too much heat for system reliability.

Drives with those features are all the more important in battery-powereddevices, such as the remotely deployed vibration sensors and data collectors that a Virtium customer was developing for bridges, tunnels and roadways. In applications like that, minimal power isn’t merely a luxury, but an absolute necessity.

A great example can be found in eUSB SSDs. Not only do they feature small form factors and speeds up to nearly 5Gbps, at less than 1W these drives draw about half the power of SATA SSDs. Virtium TuffDrive eUSB 3.0 SSDs, whose capacities range from 2GB to 128GB to meet system designers’ diverse needs, delivering the speed, capacity and low power to enable a wealth of industrial and embedded designs in space-constrained environments. They’re ideal for booting operating systems, logging video and data, and hosting storage-hungry applications. Go here to learn more about our eUSB SSDs.

Another example can be found in Secure Digital Cards, or SDs. These compact power-misers (sub-2V) are inherently rugged and able to withstand shock and vibration other storage forms can’t. SDs have found a welcome home in single-board computers, as well as COM Express, MicroTCA and Mini-ITX designs. Virtium has for years supplied TuffDrive SDs to system makers, many of whom are now deploying the cards in a wide range of IIoT, machine-to-machine and other industrial-embedded applications. Go here to learn more about our SD Cards.

So, when it comes to the power requirements of storing and protecting crucial data in demanding environments, designers would do well to recite this mantra: Go low or go home!