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12/12/2016

Advantages of Lite-On's SSD Architectural Designs for Your Datacenter

Most businesses know the value of being prepared. “Hope for the best and plan for the worst” is a common motto among many executives. So, it’s easy to understand why many IT staffs routinely purchase extra solid state drives (SSDs) for their datacenters – just in case.

But there’s a problem with that approach. The firmware operating many of those SSDs is embedded in NAND flash memory on the drives. And while that’s just fine so long as the drive is powered-up and operational, it doesn’t work so well if the SSD is sitting on a shelf for an extended period.

Why?

Because NAND flash’s estimated data retention rate is about one year when it’s offline, according to the JEDEC Solid-State Technology Association standard for SSDs. If a drive sits idle longer than that, there is a good chance the firmware will become corrupted – and therefore the drive itself may not function well.

Lite-On Storage, an innovator in storage technology since 1975, is taking an alternate approach by architecting its enterprise and datacenter SSDs to include a different technology called NOR flash.

A non-volatile form of firmware storage technology, NOR is designed to work considerably faster than NAND. Traditionally, NOR flash is used to store mission critical data. Since firmware and SMART data are mission critical for SSD devices, unlike competitors that use NAND flash for both firmware and SMART data, Lite-On has chosen to use NOR flash to store firmware and SMART data.

NOR flash offers numerous advantages over NAND for enterprise and datacenter customers.

For starters, it can withstand far more program erase (PE) cycles than a typical NAND flash. A PE life cycle is defined as the number of times NAND block can write and erase. Common Client grade NAND blocks are rated to total PE cycles of about 3,000 times whereas NOR flash blocks are typically rated to 100,000 times.

NOR flash also offers considerably higher data retention rates than NAND and it’s one year limit. NOR flash can retain certain data for up to 20 years, making it far safer for long-term storage of firmware and SMART data.

On top of using NOR flash, Lite-On brings many other factors to the table that make its SSDs one of the best available for IT staffs. For example, Lite-On controls, manages and carries out all stages of SSD creation in-house. R&D, design, manufacturing and testing are all undertaken directly by the company. This approach ensures total quality control while giving Lite-On the ability to introduce technological innovation as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Lite-On also maintains 100 percent ownership of its source code and firmware, which assures a higher level of performance, stability and consistency in its SSDs. This attention to detail has made Lite-On one of the top three enterprise SSD manufacturers in the world, according to Forward Insights.