Technical Success Story: SMART Technology Helped Customer Manage Constant P/E Cycles
OEMs often find themselves in a situation in which they need to balance price and reliability. In some cases, using an industrial grade SLC flash memory card may not be the appropriate option for a low-cost application. However, does this mean that failures are just to be expected when using consumer grade flash storage in applications with constant P/E cycles? Delkin helped a customer facing this question find a solution.
This customer was used to experiencing SD card failure annually, and they assumed that it was just part of the way that their design was destined to function. They were using MLC flash memory cards. They routinely maxed out the TBW standard and would write 24 hours per day to a card, frequently in extreme conditions like desert and tropical environments. They happened to see a Delkin white paper about flash endurance and decided to see if there was a solution to their problem.
Delkin discussed the customer’s application, OS, and environment with them and made the determination that the cards were overworked, limiting Flash endurance. Because they were exceeding P/E cycles and using up spare blocks, they were essentially making the card fail and bricking the cards. However, the company needed to stick to using consumer grade MLC flash cards. Delkin realized that the failures couldn’t be stopped, but those failures could be better managed.
What Delkin Recommended
Delkin advised the customer that it wasn’t really necessary to stop the failures. Instead, they needed a way to predict when a failure would occur so that they could respond accordingly. Delkin suggested using our SMART commands support. The SMART dashboard from Delkin would tell the customer exactly how many blocks were left in a card, how many erase cycles had happened, and approximately how much life remained in the card. With this information, the customer could estimate when a card would fail and replace it before that failure occurred in the field, thus preventing disruption from an unanticipated failure. They could do all of this without upgrading to a different grade of flash memory.
There is more than one solution to flash memory problems. Delkin can work with OEMs to find a solution that works for their specific needs.
Working with a supplier like Delkin—who is driven to help customers find solutions—allows OEMs to get exactly the kind of support they need. Contact Delkin’s customer applications team today to start working towards a solution for your memory needs.
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