Customer Success Story: Application Lifecycle Challenges
In 2009, mSATA was introduced to the market to address the demand for consumer electronics that needed to make the transition from hard disk drives to SSDs. Soon, mSATA was found in laptops, tablets, and mobile devices throughout the consumer market. The small size of mSATA and its easy integration prompted the industrial application market to embrace it for their own devices. Problems begin to arise, however, when the short lifespan of consumer applications forced a shift away from mSATA, while industrial designers and OEMs were still relying on mSATA to satisfy their needs for a longer application lifecycle. Ultimately, industrial customers began to see the supply of mSATA SSDs decline because they were out of favor in the consumer market, causing challenges for their industrial devices.
This customer was an early industrial adopter of mSATA, incorporating it into their embedded host as soon as it became available. The lifecycle of their application was approximately 10 years, and they believed that the high demand for mSATA in the consumer market meant that they wouldn’t have any trouble getting new cards when they needed them.
Unfortunately, their mSATA supplier discontinued their cards in 2016. The customer was caught off guard, as they hadn’t been aware of the shift in the demand in the consumer market. They were able to do a final buy of mSATA cards from their supplier and then turned their attention to finding a new supplier or a different memory solution for their host.
Delkin has been in the embedded memory industry for over 31 years, and our experience has led us to recognize how vastly different lifecycle expectations in the consumer and industrial markets are, and how that can impact supplies of embedded storage. For example, many industrial devices have a lifecycle of up to 25 years, compared to the 18-month lifecycle of consumer devices.
Switching between embedded memory cards is not a simple process for industrial applications. Storage must go through significant testing and an intensive approval process before being used. Consider, for example, an industrial application used in a plane. The device may go through years of testing by the FAA before being cleared, and any change to the embedded memory would require the process to start again. Changing to a new memory card is prohibitively costly and inefficient for most industrial applications. Delkin has recognized this fact and understands how to meet the unique needs of industrial application engineers.
This customer was pleased to know that Delkin still offered the mSATA form factor. The next task was for our applications team to help them select the best mSATA to order. Delkin offers the longest-lasting SLC mSATA that is available. We also offer a utility version of our mSATA which meets the operational needs of industrial applications, but has MLC flash for increased capacity and a lower price point. Like all Delkin industrial storage applications, Delkin’s mSATA industrial and utility lines have a controlled BOM. This means that no critical components of the storage will be redesigned without advanced notification, a new product number, and a chance to make a final order. We also assist with lifecycle management, so that when the time does come to select a new storage solution, our team can assist with the transition process.
Industrial storage can be more complex to choose than storage for the consumer market. It is important to not only consider the technical specifications and your budget, but also the lifecycle of your application and the longevity of your preferred storage solution. Delkin understands the demands of the industrial market, and our experienced team is here to help.
Lean on Delkin’s Technical Team
Our customer applications team is here to help you make decisions about your storage needs. We’ve solved hundreds of customer issues, and we’re here to support you as you find the right solution for your needs.
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