Technical Success Stories: How Delkin Helped A Customer Overcome Application Lifecycle Challenges
After it debuted in 2009, mSATA quickly became popular as a flash storage solution for both consumer and industrial grade products. Like most new memory formats, mSATA was originally conceived as a solution for consumer products that needed an SSD to replace a disk drive, including laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. mSATA is an SSD by design, though its small size and connectors mean that it fits easily into a variety of mobile products, including many industrial applications. Designers of embedded hosts saw mSATA as a strong application lifecycle solution. Industrial applications have a longer life cycle, so when consumer memory standards and requirements changed, industrial applications were left with mSATA needs that were no longer favored in the marketplace.
This customer had chosen to design mSATA (MO-300) into their embedded host when it was introduced in 2009. They figured that since it was a new product and it was so widely used in consumer hosts, that it wouldn’t be difficult to get the mSATA cards for more than the 10 years of their product life.
However, they were surprised to learn in 2016 that the mSATA form factor that their supplier built was being discontinued. Their electronics distributor arranged a final buy and delivery, which bought them some time to look for a new supplier or a different solution for their host.
For 31 years, Delkin has supplied cutting edge technology products and stayed ahead of the curve with form factors and trends. As leaders in the embedded market, Delkin quickly noticed that when a standard is designed into an industrial product, it may sometimes be used for 10 to 25 years. This is far different from consumer products, which usually have a life cycle of mere months. Take, for example, laptops, which usually become dated at 18 months.
The upgrade path of industrial, embedded products is much different, since there is so much additional testing and approval needed. For instance, industrial medical products sometimes have to go through years of FDA testing, while aviation products have to be tested by the FAA for several years. Some industries, such as oil and gas exploration, have evolutionary changes which happen over decades. There simply isn’t a necessary or efficient way to continually change storage solutions in industrial products.
When this customer contacted Delkin, they were relieved to find out that we still offered mSATA form factor and that they could place an order. The biggest problem now was choosing which mSATA solution they should order. The Delkin industrial line includes the longest lasting industrial SLC mSATA on the market, while the utility mSATA from Delkin is robust enough for industrial applications and offers a controlled BOM, but uses MLC flash in order to offer lower price points. This customer was pleased that the mSATA products from Delkin were made in the USA and that the Customer Applications team could help them choose the right storage for their needs.
Choosing industrial storage for embedded devices isn’t just about choosing storage that meets your budget and technical specifications. It’s also necessary to choose a solution that will be supported for the lifetime of your device. Because consumer product standards change so frequently, you need a supplier and partner who understands the unique needs of your industrial embedded device.
Lean on Delkin’s Technical Team
Delkin’s Customer Applications team is ready to advise you on choosing your host’s critical storage. We’ve solved hundreds of host failures and look forward to helping you find the right solution for your application.