For many years mechanical hard drives have been the standard solution for data storage. In recent years, Solid State Drives (SSD
) has become a viable alternative to mechanical hard drives (HDD
) and brings a number of real world advantages. Although solid state technology has been available for some time, recent mainstream commercial adoption has provided us with a wider range of cost effective Solid State Drive solutions.
Due to the recent flooding in Thailand
the price and availability of mechanical hard drives has risen sharply. Fortunately, the availability of Solid State Drives has not been affected. This gives you an ideal opportunity to explore the benefits of solid state technology.
The difference between SSD and HDD
Mechanical hard drives contain a number of moving mechanical parts working in unison to read and write data. Data is stored on a series of magnetically coated platters that are spun at high speeds of 7,200 to 15,000 RPM. While the platters are spinning, a mechanical arm passes over them reading and altering the magnetic polarity of the material underneath. The varying states of polarity in the magnetic coating are then translated into information that your computer could understand.
Solid State Drives approach data storage in a different way. Unlike mechanical hard drives, Solid State Drives have no moving parts and use flash memory to store data. Flash memory is found in a wide range of consumer devices such as smart phones, USB
memory sticks and digital
cameras. Since there are no moving parts, Solid State Drives are a more rugged alternative to mechanical hard drives.
Advantages of SSDs
Solid State Drives have a number of advantages that are beneficial for industrial applications. Here are just a few:
No moving parts
Because solid state drives use flash memory there is no need for motors, platters or reading arms. Mechanical parts ware over time and are always at risk to mechanical breakdown. Eliminating the need for moving parts allows solid state drives to last substantially longer.
Highly reliable and extremely rugged
Solid state drives have no moving parts eliminating the risk of mechanical breakdown and is not susceptible to shock, vibration or altitude. In addition, they are not affected by magnetic fields and are not affected by environmental
Ultra fast read/write performance
Because there are no moving parts that need to ‘spin up’, solid state drives can access data almost instantaneously and is not affected by data fragmentation. On average, a SATA
II based solid state drive can read and write data at around 250MB/s, compared to mechanical hard drives that perform at roughly 100MB/s read and 50-70MB/s, dependant on file fragmentation.
As solid state drives have no motors or moving parts, it consumes an average of 1-3 watts of power. In comparison, 3.5'' hard drives consume around 12 – 18 watts and 2.5'' hard drives consume roughly 2 – 5 Watts.
Reduced heat output
Because there are no motors or mechanical arms, Solid State Drives produce very little heat. This is a desirable feature to have in the industrial market where environmental
temperatures vary to the extremes.
Because there are no moving parts, solid state drives produce no noise. This is ideal for applications where noise output needs to be kept minimal such as patient care terminals and recording studios.
Find out more
If you would like to trial a Solid State Drive in your next embedded
system or would like to know more about solid state technology, then contact our technical account team on +44 (0)1782 337 800 or email sales@impulse