Good things often come in small packages. SSDs are one of the finest examples of said axiom, but even they aren’t small enough for the task at times.
STEC is adding a new enterprise-grade SSD for embedded systems, which should put enterprise SSD features in a diminutive form-factor. ATM machines, GPS units, and those DVD rental kiosks are all embedded systems that most everyone is familiar with but account for just a few applications.
Embedded applications are often constrained by size, and most enterprise SSDs are at least 2.5″. When a smaller SSD is necessary, STEC has a drive featuring the longevity and ruggedness associated with it’s other offerings, but now in a bite-size package. At only 60% of the footprint of a 2.5″ HDD or SSD, it’s one of the smallest SATA drives in existence.
The Mach16 Slim SATA Embedded SSD will come in 25GB and 50GB flavors and, weighing in at 245MB/s 128KB reads and 150MB/s 128K writes, the Slim could outclass many similarly-sized drives.
The Slim has a collection of features to help endurance and service life, including proprietary technologies not often found in consumer drives. The Mach16 Slim includes internal RAID-like redundancy which can recover data on-the fly in the event of a NAND device failure. Another standard enterprise feature included on the Slim is power-loss protection, which can help avoid data corruption if power is suddenly lost to the drive or system. Perhaps most importantly, the STEC controller has unique NAND management technology which is purported to make MLC endure like much more expensive SLC.
STEC CellCare technology is purported to allow 30x the drive’s capacity in writes per day for for the service life of the device using less-costly multi-level cell NAND flash. STEC’s press release can be found here.