Answering Common Questions About M.2
Flash memory form factors that are widely compatible and appropriate for a variety of applications are few and far between, but there is an option that fits the bill: M.2. This alternative to mSATA first hit the market in 2013 under the name NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) to satisfy the needs of engineers and designers who needed a small memory card with more flexibility than mSATA can provide. However, don’t let the footprint of the M.2 fool you—this embedded memory device is small but mighty. M.2 is used in a variety of industrial applications and delivers high-powered, reliable storage in a range of rugged operating conditions.
At Delkin, we frequently hear from customers who need assistance in selecting the best embedded memory for their industrial applications, and who have questions about M.2. Here are the answers to some of the queries we get most often.
Is M.2 an SSD or HDD?
Delkin offers M.2s that are solid state drives, or SSDs. SSDs have become the preferred storage format for most devices, replacing HDDs, or hard disk drives. SSDs do not have any moving components, which increases their reliability and speed, and makes them especially appropriate for industrial devices that are often used in extreme operating conditions. The moving parts of HDDs are prone to being jostled in industrial environments, which can cause operational failures and data loss.
What do the numbers mean after “M.2”?
You have likely noticed different devices being listed as M.2 2242, M.2 2260, and so on. The numbers after the “M.2” refer to the size of the flash memory card. For example, the most popular at Delkin is M.2 2242. This is 22mm wide and 42mm long. For each M.2, the first two numbers are the width in millimeters and the last two numbers are the length in millimeters. This information, along with the key connectors, can be used to determine which M.2 is appropriate for the host size.
Will I have to transition away from M.2 in the near future?
Industrial designers and engineers have to prioritize futureproof solutions. The process of testing and certifying embedded storage is too costly and time-consuming to repeat regularly. In the case of some industrial devices that require third-party approval, re-certifying memory cards can take years. Fortunately, the cards from Delkin are widely used in today’s operating systems and are likely to remain so in the future. This means your industrial application can evolve to meet future needs without having to transition away from the current version of industrial Flash storage.
What other industrial features does M.2 storage provide?
Like all Delkin industrial products, M.2 storage offers a controlled BOM, so you can trust that no components of the memory card that could impact compatibility will be changed without advanced notification and a new product number. There are also a variety of customization options to meet specific user needs.
Could M.2 be the right fit for your industrial application? Contact Delkin today for more information and to learn about all of our embedded industrial storage solutions.
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