STEC has introduced a small-form-factor Slim SATA SSD with a Slim SATA interface for embedded and other computing applications that require lots of storage that can fit in a small space and consume little power. The STEC MACH16 SSD is available in capacities of 25 to 50Gbytes. The SSD measures approximately 54x40x4mm, so it can be tucked into small, available volumes within an end product and connected to a motherboard using conventional 22-pin SATA cabling. Power consumption is said to be “typically under 2W.” (A bar graph of the power consumption suggests 1W.)
Significantly, STEC’s MACH16 Slim SATA data sheet says that the drive uses a proprietary SSD controller originally developed for the company’s MACH8 SSD. The data sheet also directly addresses reliability concerns by saying that the Slim SATA Mach16 SSD uses “a combination of write and erase management techniques; read-level adjustments; write-softening techniques; digital signal processing methods for signal/bit detection; and other management technologies to increase NAND cell life and endurance, as well as performance,” which the company rolls into one term: CellCare. STEC has published a White Paper with an overview of its CellCare technology, which you can find here.
Because of this focus on data integrity, STEC is positioning this SSD as an “enterprise-class drive for the embedded market.” STEC’s focus on the controller and algorithms used in the MACH16 Slim SATA SSD again telegraph where the future battle for SSD leadership is headed. As NAND Flash devices continue to ride the Moore’s Law process technology curve into the 20nm-and-below region, raw NAND Flash memory cell endurance becomes more of an issue that must be dealt with through an array of algorithms that manage the error and wearout failure mechanisms inherent in raw NAND Flash technology. As a result, STEC obviously chose to develop a proprietary controller and firmware to differentiate its SSDs in the marketplace.
More information on the STEC MACH16 SSD is available here.