At Steatite, we are often asked what the difference is between a consumer-grade SSD and the industrial SSDs that we specify as standard. This article highlights some of the key areas where consumer and industrial SSDs differ.

Fixed BOM’s

To ensure ongoing compatibility with the application, industrial SSDs can be supplied with a fixed bill-of-materials, meaning the hardware and firmware will not change. It is common for consumer SSDs to use different NAND chips or firmware versions between production batches, potentially result in unexpected behaviour.

Long Term Availability

Consumer SSDs are generally at the cutting edge, moving rapidly with new technological developments, but this does mean that particular models can be discontinued at a moment’s notice. With Industrial SSDs, the focus is on providing a stable solution that will be in production for a number of years without any changes and with plenty of warning of discontinuance.

Power-loss Protection

If an SSD losses power during a write operation, corruption can occur. Firmware and/or hardware technologies available on industrial SSDs help ensure the current operation completes fully, or will even provide enough power to the drive to ensure any write operations sitting in the cache will fully complete.

Stable Write Performance

Optional firmware enhancements ensure consistent write performance, ideal for applications that are continually recording data to disk, such as CCTV.

256bit AES Encryption

Hardware based encryption available on industrial SSDs ensures no performance impact, whereas consumer SSDs generally rely upon software solutions (such as BitLocker), which can have a significant impact on read and write performance.

Write Protect

The GPIO controlled write protect feature available on some industrial SSDs is ideal for use in heavily regulated industries, such as gaming or finance.

Secure Erase

Inbuilt technologies allow for data to be securely erased to military standards, or even for the drive to be physically destroyed by running a high voltage through the module.

Wide Temperature

The GPIO controlled write protect feature available on some industrial SSDs is ideal for use in heavily regulated industries, such as gaming or finance.

Conformal Coating

Optional coating that protects the SSD against moisture, dust, corrosion and electrical & thermal conduction.

Shock & Vibration

Industrial SSDs are designed and tested to endure the high external shock and vibration that are likely to be experienced in mobile applications, whereas consumer SSDs are generally designed for use

Rewrite Cycles

Modern consumer SSDs are generally based on TLC or QLC flash chips, which support significantly fewer program/erase cycles when compared to MLC, iSLC or SLC flash, meaning they wear out much faster.

iSLC Flash

iSLC bridges the gap between MLC flash and SLC flash, offering 7x the rewrite cycles of standard MLC drives.

Wear Leveling

Some entry-level consumer SSDs rely on primitive wear-levelling algorithms that can result in the SSD failing prematurely, whereas industrial SSDs tend to use more advanced wear-levelling systems to help extend the operating life of the drive.

High-grade NAND

Some entry-level consumer SSDs rely on primitive wear-levelling algorithms that can result in the SSD failing prematurely, whereas industrial SSDs tend to use more advanced wear-levelling systems to help extend the operating life of the drive.

Find out more

To learn more about any of the features and technologies discussed, please contact one of our team on 01527 512 400 or via computers@steatite.co.uk