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Reducing Power Fail Issues in Industrial Flash Memory

Power Fail

 

As embedded applications increasingly rely on solid state drives rather than traditional hard disc drives, the need to manage power fail issues has become central to ensuring data integrity. Delkin Devices designs solid state drives, or SSDs, that incorporate multiple levels of data protection should a power fail event happen, alongside the other features you expect from Delkin embedded applications, including small footprints, reduced power consumption, increased reliability, and high-level performance.

 

Power Fails in Flash-Based SSDs

Power fails that affect flash storage can occur in a number of different instances, including power outages, brownouts, power surges, and power spikes. They can also occur if the SSD itself is removed manually without powering off. Power fails that occur during idle times or during read operations are generally not problematic. The issues arise when a failure happens during a write operation.

 

When a power loss occurs in the midst of a write operation, it can cause data loss. This is because the data that was being written to the storage was not completely saved, so it could be lost. This kind of power failure data loss is also called a write-abort failure.

 

Although only a small amount of data may not have been written when a power failure occurs, it can cause significant ongoing problems, including fatal corruption of the entire system. It can also cause inefficient use of memory capacity, which can dramatically shorten the lifespan of the embedded flash storage.

 

Reducing the Risk of Power Fail Issues

Taking steps to reduce external sources of power loss is important for mitigating the risk of power fails. These steps include using surge protectors and avoiding overloads of power systems. However, you cannot always prevent a power fail from occurring, so internal protections are essential for reducing the risk of data loss.

 

For flash memory systems that handle critical data, it is necessary to have built-in power loss controls, including systems for monitoring power supply and the ability to recover data after a power loss that occurs during a write operation. Although these systems cannot always prevent a small amount of data loss, they can prevent complete system corruption and the loss of large data stores.

 

For engineers and OEMs, considering the power fail protection systems that are integrated into industrial flash memory and how these systems impact performance are key factors when selecting an SSD storage solution. Delkin specialists are available to answer questions about power fails. A White Paper on Power Failure is also available for download from Delkin.

 

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