Solving Capacity Issues with SLC NAND Flash Memory
For industrial applications, embedded memory has to function flawlessly, even in demanding operating conditions. This demand for reliability means that SLC NAND flash memory has become the gold standard for industrial applications in industries ranging from healthcare to transportation. However, as the market continues to grow for embedded memory for industrial applications, the demand for high-capacity memory also continues to grow. One of the key features of SLC flash memory is also a feature that constrains capacity. Increasingly, users are looking for the benefits of SLC memory with additional capacity. Delkin has solutions for OEMs and engineers who can’t compromise on reliability or capacity.
Understanding the Basics of SLC Flash Memory
Flash memory has long been the favored embedded memory design by OEMs and engineers. In fact, it has replaced the once-popular HDD, or hard disk drive, memory format. Flash memory, which is used in solid state drives, or SSDs, doesn’t have any moving parts. This makes it significantly more reliable and faster than HDDs. In addition, the lack of moving parts makes it particularly useful in industrial applications, in which high levels of shock and vibration are common. In this kind of environment, HDDs can easily malfunction after being jostled, leading to potential data loss and disrupting operations.
SLC NAND memory, or single-level cell memory, is a type of flash memory in which one bit of data is stored per cell. This design minimizes the risk of data corruption or loss during program cycles. This is because there is a lower chance of disruption when only one bit of data is being programmed per cell. SLC is also the fastest kind of flash memory because of this design. In addition, it is the most tolerant of extreme operating conditions, which are common in industrial applications.
However, only storing one bit of data per cell inherently limits the capacity of the flash memory. In industrial applications, the need for the security of SLC NAND memory has not changed, but the need for capacity has. With increasing demand for both the greatest reliability and expansive memory capacity, industrial application engineers are looking for solutions that meet both needs. The following are some examples of products that fulfill these demands.
Industrial M.2 2242 SATA
SATA has long been a popular option for primary storage needs in industrial applications. This popularity is due to its high endurance and reliability. M.2 is the newest version of the SATA interface. Delkin offers this industrial embedded storage in the popular 2242 size. It is compliant with the SATA-IO M.2 SATA 2242 standards, so you know exactly what you’re getting and can count on predictable compatibility.
This product has B and M keys and operates at SATA III speeds of 6Gb/s. It is also backwards compatible with SATA II and SATA I, though it will operate at the maximum speeds for those form factors. It has read speeds of up to 260MB/s and write speeds of up to 115MB/s, though speed is impacted by capacity.
The industrial M.2 2242 SATA is available in SLC format. However, for users looking for great reliability with expanded capacity, Delkin offers both utility MLC and industrial 3D options. Utility MLC (multi-level cell) flash has expanded capacity because it allows two bits of data to be stored per cell. Industrial 3D flash increases capacity by stacking cells within the drive. This increases the storage capacity without increasing the size of the drive, since the additional cells are stacked vertically. Both utility MLC and 3D SATA embedded memory designs offer the same features you’d expect from industrial SLC memory. These features include an extended temperature range, lifecycle management, and a locked bill of materials (BOM). Note that M.2 is also available in different sizes and in caseless design options.
Industrial SLC 2.5” SSD
If you are a legacy SATA user with a standard 2.5” slot, then the industrial SLC 2.5” solid state drive is the embedded memory option for you. It is compliant with SATA I, II, and III standards. This memory option also has the full range of features you’d expect with industrial storage, including an extended temperature range of -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C and lifecycle management. Lifecycle management is particularly important for legacy products, as it ensures that there is support available if it becomes necessary to transition to a newer device.
For applications with a high number of write operations, SLC 2.5” SSDs are ideal because of their speed capabilities. However, other users who want industrial reliability with increased capacity can choose Utility MLC or 3D TLC 2.5” SSDs.
Embedded multi-media controllers, or eMMCs, feature flash memory and a flash memory controller on a single silicon die. This design makes eMMC storage ideal for use in industrial applications. eMMCs can store application software or OS, or log critical data. The eMMC format supports three different data bus widths: one bit, four bit, and eight bit, with a high-speed eMMC protocol bus mode.
Delkin’s eMMC has standard industrial memory features. The temperature range is -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C, making it an ideal fit for environments in which temperatures are extreme or fluctuate rapidly. For security, eMMC supports bad block erase commands and features Enhanced Write Protection with both permanent and partial options. eMMC solders directly to the main board for the sake of simplicity, and features a 153-ball pattern.
Delkin understands the challenge of balancing your need for reliability and industrial-level ruggedness in your embedded memory with your need for expanded capacity. Our team is available to help you make the right choice for your application. We take the time to understand each of our clients’ product designs and priorities to ensure they get the best possible embedded memory, even if specialized testing and customizations are required. Because we manufacture onsite at our facility in Poway, California, we can offer a long list of customizations, including custom conformal coating and labeling. Contact us today to learn more about our high-capacity industrial memory products.
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