Greenliant – Industrial Qualified Embedded SSDs
February 2011 - Santa Clara, CA - Recently we had a chance to sit down and talk with the folks at Greenliant Systems makers of the NANDrive products. Although the company has been around for a short period of time (2010), their products are the continuation of the NAND flash technology and disk controller experience from Silicon Storage Technologies (SST) which has been in the marketplace for almost 20 years.
The discussion focused on the NANDrive product which is a small form factor (BGA package) are a complete solid state drive subsystem - storage flash memory, interface controller, local processor and control firmware. The devices are available with both SATA and PATA interfaces for both the commercial and industrial operating temperature ranges. These SSDs run at 3.3v and support data rates up to 56MB/s Read & 23MB/s Write for commercial products, and 50MB/s Read & 39MB/s Write for industrial products.
The devices are available in densities from 512MB up to 16GB and will eventually be servicing up to 64GB capacities. For reliability the products leverage SLC NAND, and then utilizing MLC NAND where applicable by performance and reliability. The devices have been qualified to up to 100Million host write cycles. The footprint of the device makes the component level subsystem a primary choice for embedded applications where high performance storage with a standard interface is required.
Many of the embedded applications utilize IA or ARM core architectures which have long supported rotating media for their storage. The new size format and use of the standard SATA and PATA interfaces, allows these systems to be implemented without re-writing application code or changing the system bus architecture to include a “flash” style storage product. One of the strong capabilities of these product is the interface controller. The design team and IP from SST that was brought into the company has produced multiple technologies generations of disk controllers. This experience allows the products to have consistent performance over the full operating temperature range and support a high degree of data stability and reliability.
The product allows simplified prototyping with their development platform due to the standardized interfaces. At this time, 3GB/s SATA is supported and the higher speed 6GB/s SATA will be implemented when the customer demand for the interface arises. The applications include robotics systems, automotive electronics. industrial control systems, networking & medical equipment and in the commercial sector set top box, smart TVs, camcorders, cameras, and mobile computing.
All of the products feature ECC, power interruption control (prevents data corruption when power is unstable), security features including erase/purge functions, wear leveling control in the firmware, and a proprietary lifespan monitoring capability that can both predict optimal capacity based on usage models and also generate alerts based on read/write history and provide predictions for useful product life.
The products are currently in production and shipping. Higher capacity products are being released over the balance of 2011 to fill out the product line.