FAQs About Wide Temperature Range SSD
Engineers and OEM designers often face a challenge of balancing budgets with system operation requirements when seeking wide temperature range SSD solutions. In industrial applications, NAND Flash SSDs often face conditions in which wide temperature ranges are common. The choice the engineers and designers have to make is how to get the longest life possible out of embedded Flash storage—given the temperature ranges—for the best possible price. There are several factors to consider when making this decision. Here are the answers to a few questions that frequently arise.
How do MLC and SLC compare in wide temperature ranges?
As a general rule of thumb, SLC Flash is designed to operate at a wider range of temperatures and is more resilient to temperature fluctuations than MLC. However, the cost of SLC is driving some engineers and OEM designers to use MLC as a cost-saving measure. MLC is usually less viable in industrial applications, because it saves two bits of data per cell and is designed with thin oxide layers in order to save costs. That doesn’t mean that MLC can’t be a good SSD choice to use in wide temperature environments, but other factors should be carefully considered before making this choice. The number of writes per day, how extreme the temperatures are, and how long the SSD needs to retain data all come into play.
How soon will MLC Flash be vulnerable to temperature issues?
All SSDs will usually retain data without an issue when they are new. However, exposure to wide temperature ranges will affect MLCs over time. Data retention can become significantly compromised over a period of months with MLCs, depending on the overall system demands and the intensity of the environment. When using MLCs in extreme temperature environments, engineers and OEMs should have a plan for saving data when retention declines. Having an internal system that monitors the SSD can help alert users to potential problems as they arise.
How should engineers and OEM designers balance cost and temperature resilience?
Generally, for applications that need 8GB or less of storage, there is no cost advantage to using MLC over SLC, given the longer life span of SLC and the cost of replacing MLC cards. For storage over that amount, weighing the cost of replacing MLC storage more frequently, the amount of disruption doing so would cause, and the overall demands of the application versus the extended capacity of SLC are all part of the economic decisions to be made.
Delkin can provide advice for engineers and designers looking for embedded storage that fits their needs and application requirements. Contact us or explore our website for product information and more.