Industrializing e.MMC and SSD

By Sundar Ranganathan - 2016-03-10

The number of connected devices is expected to grow from 6.4 billion units in 2016 to 20.8 billion units in 2020, (source: Gartner). Machine learning and real-time analytics of sensor data is driving increased computing and local data storage requirements. Examples include image recognition and vision based systems in smart factories, smart cities, energy management and surveillance systems.

To meet the stringent Industrial grade (IT) requirements, memory devices used have to be designed and qualified for Industrial temp (-40ºC to +85ºC), higher vibration specs, security and longevity to name a few. NAND Flash devices used in these applications fall into two broad categories:

  • SLC NAND – used for low density code storage
  • Raw MLC, e.MMC and SSD – used for higher density code and data storage

Industrial e.MMC:

Non Volatile Memory TAM is expected to grow over the next several years with the embedded board architecture adoption being the key driver of e.MMC demand. About 80% of all industrial applications use embedded computing boards. Based on their architecture, they are classified into three types:

  • Single board computer - Mostly Intel® x86 based architecture, typically used for applications like video streaming.
  • Standalone boards - More like a personal computer, used in applications like medical, digital signage, and gambling. The standalone board market is 90% Intel x86 based.
  • Computer-on-module - Used in applications such as ATMs and Kiosks. The architecture adoption is more balanced with ~50% ARM® based and ~40% x86 based.

The Standalone boards and Computer-on-module boards are currently the largest board segments, and are driving the e.MMC market growth.

With Intel's e.MMC interface adoption, the x86 based boards can use 4GB-32GB e.MMC for code storage. On ARM based boards, entry level boards use SLC NAND, while the mid-tier and high-end boards use low density e.MMC - 4GB, moving to 8GB for redundancy, media and data space.

Industrial grade SSD:

The industrial market for client SSD is growing at a 29% CAGR (source: Micron Marketing). Conversion from HDDs to SSD is the key market driver, as SSDs provide higher durability (higher shock and vibration specs), better performance (higher read/write speeds), and lower replacement rates compared to HDDs.

IT-SSDs are being used in a variety of industrial applications in Automation (smart manufacturing), Medical (monitoring, video capture), Transportation (black box, entertainment), Military (surveillance), and Instrumentation (data logging) where there is a need for secure high storage.

Listed below are a few key requirements in the Industrial segment for SSDs:

  • Wide operating temperatures: -40ºC to +85ºC
  • Durability: Lower failure rate, lower heat dissipation
  • Reliability: High MTTF and UBER for longer time between replacement
  • Robustness: High vibration specs

Our new M500IT SSD is designed for the industrial/embedded segments including but not limited to all above mentioned features.  This is available in densities 60GB/120GB/240GB in 2.5"/mSATA form factors with encryption support - 256 AES/TCG Opal 2.0.

For more information on this topic check out our recent NAND flash webinar, we discussed use cases of industrial e.MMC and SSDs.

*No hardware, software or system can provide absolute security under all conditions. Micron assumes no liability for lost, stolen or corrupted data arising from the use of any Micron products, including those products that incorporate any of the above security features.

Amit Gattani

Sundar Ranganathan