Common Questions about SLC Solid State Drives
Engineers and OEM designers have a choice of embedded memory options for SSDs. For industrial use, most designers opt to go with SLC technology. There are several advantages of using SLC Flash SSDs in industrial applications, where rugged environments are the norm. In addition, there are multiple SLC options for embedded storage—including SATA III and mSATA—which offer reliable, industrial-grade performance. Choosing the right solution requires a great deal of research and plenty of questions. Here are the answers to the questions engineers and designers frequently have about SLC SSDs.
How does SLC Flash differ from MLC?
The main difference between SLC—single level cell—and MLC—multi level cell—Flash is the amount of data stores per cell. SLC stores one bit of data per cell. This allows SLC to preserve data more reliably and to perform faster. MLC stores two or more bits of data per cell. As a result, MLC works slightly slower and wears out faster than SLC. MLC is less expensive, however, which makes it an appealing choice for many different products.
Why is SLC Flash favored for industrial use?
MLC memory is used successfully in a wide range of consumer products. The pricing of MLC, coupled with its performance, makes it the right fit for commercial use, including in smartphones, laptop computers, and cameras. Industrial users have different needs, however, and SLC Flash meets those needs better.
SLC Flash is typically better equipped for the operating environments of industrial users. For example, when used in train or airplane black boxes, SLC Flash can tolerate the shock and vibrations these devices are exposed to without losing data or suffering from other failures. Industrial devices may also operate in environments in which temperatures are extreme or in which they swing widely. SLC Flash is able to withstand these temperatures without any loss of function.
What is the lifespan of SLC solid state drives?
Because of the multiple bits of data stored in each cell, MLC Flash wears our faster than SLC. SLC uses algorithms in the controller to increase endurance and ensure that every cell is used to the peak of its capability. As a result, some SLC Flash memory can last for 10 times the number of cycles compared to MLC. This reliability is another reason industrial users—especially those who manage critical data—choose SLC.
Let Delkin’s product professionals help you navigate your options for storage and select the best fit for your applications. Contact us with your questions, or explore our website to browse our industrial storage solutions.