Hardware Encrypted SSD

Data security is very important for enterprise and industrial customer other than system performance and stability. To improve data security, Kogen can provide SSD with hardware protection function. We have two methods to ensure data security, first, our SSD has hardware encryption function follow Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Opal SSC standard. Encrypted data could not be easily accessed when SSD is lost. Second, when facing emergency situation that all data need to be wiped out immediately, our hardware purge or quick erase function is able to delete all data even the hidden area.

Currently most common method for data security are using software encryption. However, software encryption will occupy the resources of processor and RAM, and affect the system performance also data transfer speed will be slower. On the other hand, by using hardware encryption method, no RAM and processor will be occupied. Therefore, system performance and transfer speed can maintain high performance during encryption process.

TCG Opal SSC

Trusted Computing Group association establish the Opal Security Subsystem Class standard for SSD to follow the full structure and security specifications. Here are some of the features for TCG Opal SSC, firstly, before boot up into BIOS system, SSD will perform a pre-boot action and let shadow MBR to verify user access authority. After authority is been verified, then it will start loading BIOS, it is to avoid BOIS system from being altered.

Secondly, all SSD that follow TCG Opal standard have Self Encrypting Drive mechanism, controller will perform self-encryption for whole SSD. Thirdly, encryption key is stored in the controller, it can avoid security flaw of software encryption. Therefore, DMA attack or Cold Boot attack are not working.

Hardware Purge

For industrial info-secure and data protection other than TCG Opal SSC, there is another method call Hardware Purge or Quick Erase. There is a hardware push button to erase all data in the flash memory, and the SSD will return to default factory setting. Once hardware purge is activated, it will erase all data until it is done, if power has been removed during erase, after re-plug-in, it will continue to erase data and all data that has been deleted could not be rescue back.

Below is one example of mSATA memory module with quick erase function, data erase will start once Quick-Erase button has been pressed. mSATA is only quarter of the size of common 2.5” SSD, it is popular for industrial PC, portable storage, set-top box, etc. To know more about hardware encrypted SSD or other customised function, please contact us.

Hardware Encrypted SSD

      mSATA with quick erase button

Performance comparison between Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD)

HDD using one or more rigid rapidly rotating platters coated with magnetic material. Read and write data by an actuator arm with magnetic heads. Due to the actuator arm and magnetic head design, HDD will have mechanical limitations and problems. For example, HDD could not sustain strong impact and vibration, and motor will create noise during operating.

Hard Disk Drive
Hard Disk Drive
Solid State Drive
Solid State Drive

On the other hand, SSD use NAND Flash to store data, there are only controller, NAND Flash and other electronic components on PCB, no mechanical components that could create extra noise and not affected by vibration, this is the reason why SSD is very suitable for portable device and industrial product.

Other than that, HDD only has one actuator arm and magnetic head, therefore HDD only able to read data in one segment at a time. SSD uses controller as a core to control data read/write, so it could achieve multiple read write at the same time. Thus, SSD has much higher read/write performance than HDD. Below are the read write speed comparison.

Crystal Disk Mark

The average sequential read/write speed for HDD is less than 200MB/s, and average read/write speed for SSD is more than 500MB/s. For random file read/write, due to HDD only has one actuator arm and magnetic head, normal 4k read/write performance is only 0.5~1.5MB/s. However, SSD could perform multiple read/write at the same time, so the performance for random read/write is about 60~120 times more than HDD. Therefore, SSD is very suitable to work as a system drive to give higher performance speed, it is essential for computer open and software operating.

 

HDD and SSD comparison summary

Items HDD SSD
Performance <200MB/s 500MB/s
Vibration tolerance Low Very high
Noise High No noise
Power consumption 5~10W <5W
Operating temperature 0~60°C -40~85°C
Capacity ~10TB ~4TB
Price Low Higher than HDD

We supply industrial grade SSD to company requiring reliable and efficient SSD for their industrial needs. Drop us an email for your enquiry and we will response to you.

SSD Knowledge – NAND Flash Type

There are 3 types of NAND flash, SLC, MLC and TLC. SLC is first invented by Toshiba in 1987, but it has only small capacity and very expensive, usually use in thumb drive. After that MLC with higher capacity and lower cost was invented, but it is still expensive compare to HDD, so it is only used in enterprise level or high-end consumer. Finally, TLC came to the market, it has even higher capacity and an acceptable price for normal consumer. People start to use it in computer, mobile phone and other consumer product.

 

SLC: Single-Level Cell, store 1-bit data per cell

MLC: Multi-Level Cell, store 2-bit data per cell

TLC: Trinary-Level Cell or 3-bit MLC, store 3-bit data per cell

SLC MLC TLC NAND Flash Memory
SLC MLC TLC NAND Flash Memory

 

How NAND flash works?

There is a silicon dioxide on each cell, it works as a cap of the cell, to prevent electron going in or coming out accidentally. When writing data, voltage will be increased to let electron pass through the silicon dioxide into the cell. To erase data, voltage will be increased again so electron can leave the cell by passing through silicon dioxide again.

As TLC can store 3bit data, it needs 8 different level of voltage to allow different number of electrons into the cell.

 

Performance: SLC > MLC > TLC

To read or write data, SLC is very simple, only 0 or 1, therefore SLC is the fastest. MLC has 4 different electron level, performance is slower than SLC. As for TLC, it has 8 different level, so it takes more time to determine the electron level. And sometimes there will be mistake when operating, therefore TLC need extra error correction to make sure the data is correct.

Life Endurance: SLC > MLC > TLC

SLC has up to 100,000 erase cycles, MLC has 5,000~10,000 erase cycles, but TLC has only less than 3,000 erase cycles.

It is due to TLC need 8 different voltage level and it can store more bits in single cell, the usage for electrons to pass through the silicon dioxide is much more frequent, it makes silicon dioxide layer wear out faster. Therefore, the life endurance for TLC is much shorter.

 

Capacity: SLC < MLC < TLC

TLC can store 3bit data in single cell, therefore compare SLC and TLC in the same chip size, TLC can store more data than SLC. It makes capacity of SSD getting closer to HDD.

Reliability: SLC > MLC > TLC

SLC only has 2 electron level, it is very easy to read and write. MLC and TLC have more than 2 electron level, especially for TLC, there are 8 different electron level, as the differences between each level are very small, error may occur when writing data. Therefore, SLC has the highest reliability compare to MLC and TLC.

 

Summary:

Items SLC MLC TLC
Performance High Medium Low
Life endurance ~100,000 5,000~10,000 ~3,000
Capacity ~512GB ~2TB ~4TB
Reliability High Medium Low
Cost High Medium Low

Kogen works with top Taiwan ODM factory to provide SSD with all kinds of NAND flash depend on customer application. For industrial or military application, we recommend MLC and SLC to get best life endurance and reliability. For consumer product, we recommend TLC for more competitive price and higher capacity.

Looking for industrial SSD for your application and project need? Feel free to contact us for more information you need.

Or you may visit other page of our website for Industrial mSATA module for more product information.