This was definitely a fun departure from our standard SSD reviews, and allowed us to delve a bit into the differences between the ruggedized sector and the ‘standard’ SSDs that we are accustomed to testing. The design and implementation of the various features used for ensuring survival in hostile environments are certainly interesting, and absolutely crucial to the ability of this SSD to deliver in its intended roles.
With SSDs such as this, lives can hang in the balance of whether or not this SSD delivers. This is a crushing responsibility for the individuals that are responsible for the design and testing of these SSDs, and an important reason for the long validation period that is needed before deployment.
TCS definitely goes above and beyond in this respect. All of the bells and whistles are important, and this begins with the rugged case, and the PCB being securely fastened into the case with the 8 additional fasteners. Following this solid approach to the actual construction of the PCB is vital.
Tantalum based capacitors are key to providing reliable performance in hot environments, and also protect the data on the SSD. The underfill and optional staking are also vital to securing the components to the PCB in the most secure manner possible. Extra levels of protection such as conformal coating and silicon fill provide customers with very high levels of protection for the device.
Passing that protection onto the data contained on the SSD itself is also just as crucial. A high level of ECC that is inherent with the SF-1565 affords data protection and the use of ultra-endurance SLC with 100,000 a P/E Ratio is also very important. This allows a staggering 20,000 Terabytes to be written over the course of the lifetime of this SSD.
The protection of the data for this SSD is also extended to include both the ability for hardware level encryption (AES-128), and the enhanced Crypto-Erase features. The ability to utilize hardware and/or software triggers for data destruction is key for this SSD.And finally, utilizing a proven processor with a long track record of reliability ties all of these components together. With the blistering rate of progress in the SSD arena as a whole, many SSD processors are being surpassed before they even reach total maturation. This isn’t always the best practice for all environments, as the rapid pace of advancement can bring about unforeseen reliability issues.
The LSI SF-1565 is rock solid, and has that long track record that is needed for a high level of reliability. Pairing this processor with the latest Micron 25nm SLC really delivers on the performance front, with some of the best incompressible write performance that we have ever witnessed with this generation of SandForce processors. This proves that the TCS Galatea approach of utilizing proven processors that are forward compatible with current, and future, NAND is reaping big benefits.
With situations such as the intercepted Iran drone that is still in the news, one can but hope that a TCS SSD was utilized to secure the vital information contained. This situation certainly highlights the high level of trust that must be placed in the ability to protect the information onboard, and also destroy it quickly and effectively if needed.
The next time a soldier happens to be on a battlefield and a tank goes rumbling by, supported by a high flying drone for reconnaissance with helicopters and fighter jets providing close air support, the chances are good that a ruggedized SSD is probably helping to protect them.
Who knows, the satellite watching it all happen may also be floating around in space with a TCS Galatea SSD chugging away!