Industrial Grade products have many features and benefits, anyone of which may be the key to the success of a given OEM's application. The generally accepted market definition for Industrial Grade is a product that is based on SLC NAND. However, there is much more to the Cactus Industrial Grade Offering.
While SLC NAND is an important foundation, SLC NAND alone does not ensure a reliable product for Industrial OEM applications. Key design items ensuring reliability in Industrial Grade revolve around the Controller, Firmware Algorithms, Discrete Components used, Additional circuitry for functionality and the physical construction of the Device.
In addition to the Semiconductors, Discrete Components and Device Construction, there a number of intangible characteristics that truly make and Industrial Grade device. The two most important are: Bill-Of-Material (BOM) Control, guaranteeing the product that is qualified is what is received in production - and - Extending the Life Cycle so the same BOM offering is available for as long as possible.
Here's a list of the key Industrial Grade items you should be aware of and review prior to making a decision on flash storage needs in your OEM application.
Single Level Cell NAND Flash memory is the foundation of any Industrial Grade flash storage device. Compared to MLC (Multi Level Cell) NAND, SLC NAND has 20-30 times more endurance cycles and has much less read disturb and data retention issues.
Only use the highest quality SLC NAND from Toshiba, Micron and other leading vendors. Since SLC NAND is the building block of our Industrial Grade products, any component used is thoroughly tested, characterized and qualified before release in our flash storage offerings.
The majority of controllers are optimized for volume consumer applications with key design criteria of lowest cost and possibly speed. Industrial controllers are built with powerful ECC engines focused on data reliability and are optimized to address issues such as Write abort handling and read disturb.
Industrial Grade Wear Leveling, Defect Management and ECC, along with many trade secret techniques deliver the most reliable products in the industry.
Discrete components are not an afterthought for Cactus Industrial Grade products. Only the best and many cases more expensive discrete components are used to ensure reliability is not compromised.
All Cactus Industrial Grade products are designed and built with ruggedness for harsh environments in mind. High quality PCBs, Lid Sets, Lid Frames, and other mechanical items are the only material used. This ensures Cactus products shock & vibration operation is well above its industry leading specifications.
Cactus offers extended temperature range products off the shelf at -45C to 90C. In cases where and OEM requires support for temperatures beyond this range, Cactus is fully capable of screening/qualifying products to higher or lower temperatures.
Once a product is released by Cactus, the BOM is locked. A locked BOM signifies there will be no changes to the controller, firmware or NAND without the issuance of a Product Change Notification and approval by the OEM. Bottom line, when an OEM qualifies a Cactus product, they will receive the same BOM on production units.
Cactus has and abides by a firm Product Change Notification policy when any changes to the BOM are made. The longer the sampling and qualification period given for changes the better.
Industrial controllers can exist for >10 years versus consumer controllers with 10 months or less life cycles. With proper controller and NAND life management, Cactus can provide the longest life available so an OEM’s re-qualification efforts are minimized.
Fully tested and qualified to 100,000 feet.
All of our Industrial Grade flash storage devices have >10 years data retention.
Cactus offers a form factor and interface to meet almost every Industrial OEM application’s requirements.
Cactus makes every effort to understand your application and identify/recommend the proper solution. We are capable to modify specific design elements to meet needs and perform Failure Analysis if the need ever arises.
Cactus products are prepared for environments with suspect power such as battery operated and far from a clean power source. There are several techniques and circuitry used to minimize the effects of unexpected power loss in our products.
To limit data at risk of loss many Cactus Industrial products have small data buffers in the controller which have write abort protection circuitry to help prevent data loss. For high performance products with larger DRAM cache SuperCaps designs are available to protect this non-volatile data.
Cactus has products with special Military Erase, Extreme Temp, Physical Write Protect Switches or jumpers and other features needed or adaptable to specific application requirements. For more details, see Unique Features.
Device reports many items to analyze the current state of reliability and life remaining of product. Based on this data, informed decisions can be made to determine proper maintenance schedules if any are needed.
Adapters to assist with the design-in of product in the prototyping phases. An example is an embedded product which has an adapter to standard SD or SATA connector so software and electrical development can be completed prior to host system PCBs being produced.
Ability to create a part specifically to meet the OEM's requirement, when off the shelf devices are not sufficient. See Customization.