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Technical Success Stories: SLC SD Card- Finding the Right Solution

SD, D300 Series, 16GB SLC Industrial

 

As flash technology evolves, it is becoming increasingly challenging to compare memory devices. At one point, simply checking to see if a device used SLC or MLC flash was enough. Now, there are things like QLC, TLC, eMLC, and 3D NAND on the market, making it increasingly difficult for developers and OEMs to determine what is the right fit for them.

 

In the past, checking the P/E cycles, or Program/Erase cycles, of the flash was helpful, and then the TBW, or Terabytes Written, became a good differentiating factor. However, looking only at any one of these features is not enough to truly understand a flash product. For example, many users overlook WA, or Write Amplification, when evaluating a product. WA refers to a process in which an entire block on a flash device is worn when only a small section of it was actually necessary to use for data storage. This shortens the lifespan of the memory and is a major factor to consider.

 

Customer Story

A medical device manufacturing buyer came to Delkin frustrated that she had to change cards, capacities, and suppliers three times in three years. She needed a 24-month life cycle on the selected card due to the length and expense involved in medical device testing. The Delkin representative was only able to offer an 18-month life cycle.

 

Delkin let her know that if other flash companies promised a 24-month life cycle for the type of card she was considering, they were misleading her. The Delkin team member requested to run a model on her usage to predict flash endurance using an SLC card. The buyer stated that only an MLC card would work for budgetary reasons, but agreed to the test.

 

Delkin Discovery

Delkin has sophisticated testing for comparing SLC and MLC cards, testing capacity, file size, usage model, TBW, and price. Starting with a complete understanding of the customer’s needs, the Delkin Customer Applications team determined the expected life and flash-endurance based on her specific requirements.

 

Delkin Solution

The customer was shocked when Delkin showed her that switching to a 512MB SLC card would give her 20 times the P/E cycles as the 8GB MLC card she was considering. The SLC card would last 10.2 years, versus .6 years for the MLC card. The customer chose the SLC card happily.

 

Lessons Learned

Choosing an industrial storage device is complex and requires considering multiple factors at once, from capacity to usage model and function. Delkin can help you find a customized solution to meet your needs.

 

Lean on Delkin’s Technical Team

If you have a problem with your host storage, the Delkin Customer Applications team is ready to help. We’ve solved hundreds of complex host failures and can help you find the right memory solution for your application. Contact us today! 

 

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