For existing Embedded OEM Systems used in critical applications, there is a simple way to increase the reliability of the system immediately. If your system uses a removable flash storage device it’s as easy as upgrading your flash storage to Industrial Grade based on SLC NAND memory.
Typical removable storage devices such as CompactFlash, SD Card, microSD, mSATA or other modules can quickly be replaced with one of more reliability.
In some cases the original design engineer was unaware of the differences between Industrial Grade Flash Storage Devices based on SLC NAND, Commercial Grade Flash Storage based on MLC NAND and Consumer Grade based on the least reliable TLC NAND.
In other cases, limited budget for system components pushed the design engineer or procurement manager to choose a lesser grade flash storage device. With the large difference in pricing between Industrial Grade and Consumer Grade, there can be significant pressure to lower reliability to save cost.
How long do solid state drives last in my application should be a key data point to any design engineer.
Many of these decisions do not immediately reveal themselves upon product launch. As the NAND flash in these memory devices accumulates more write/erase cycles, the limited endurance of TLC and MLC NAND begins to show. As the endurance cycles degrade the memory cells, reliability of a once “fresh” card are now compromised.
For systems that are in locations with limited accessibility, changing out consumer flash cards regularly is unrealistic or cost prohibitive. For these situations, using a long life Industrial Grade SLC memory card or module such as SLC CF, SLC SD Cards or SLC mSATA is important. If your systems did not come with one from the factory, it can be corrected by replacing the card in the field.
Another important consideration is the card’s reliability at temperature. For applications which operate below 0C or above 70C, typical Consumer flash cards are being pushed to the limit. Industrial Grade cards are available in wider operating temperature ranges of -45C to 90C.In some cases it is possible to go beyond even this wider range.
At Cactus Technologies, our specialty is Industrial Grade flash storage for the Embedded OEM systems. It’s what we do. If you are an OEM requiring assistance with the memory for your embedded application, please contact a Cactus Technologies’ Expert.