Mitigating the Threat of SSD Data Corruption from Unexpected Power Failures

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    Solid state drives (SSDs) satisfy the high performance, low power and strict reliability requirements of a growing list of embedded systems.  This advanced technology, however, is not without its drawbacks.  One key design challenge SSD vendors face is the susceptibility of an SSD to data corruption from an unexpected power failure.  This is a critical concern for designers of most embedded systems that require “five nines” uptime - especially those operating in harsh environments. This issue is further compounded by the difficulty in maintaining a steady and uninterrupted power source - especially in light of the proliferation of battery-operated and portable devices in the Internet of Things (IoT), which are particularly sensitive to power loss.   It is estimated that as many as 75% of SSD field failures are the result of power-related data corruption.

    Because this is a key issue, it is a critical to understand how a given storage solution will operate in a specific application. This white paper will present the data corruption effects on an SSD when a system loses power during a write operation.  It will illustrate the advantages of specifying an SSD that integrates voltage detection and power hold-up circuitry giving users advanced warning of a possible power irregularity.  It will also discuss the differences in SSDs designed for use in industrial applications compared to those for the consumer electronic market.