Similar to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs) are manufactured today using numerous technologies and specifications that enable different degrees of performance, reliability, and endurance. While HDDs use standard methods for determining overall reliability ratings based on mean time between failure (MTBF) or annualized failure rates (AFR), SSDs are just now establishing a standardization process. Testing with a validated format is critical for any OEM provider of enterprise servers or client-based systems that will integrate SSDs.
The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, working together with industry leaders, has established a set of standards for client and enterprise SSDs. These requirements and test methods are found within the JEDEC JESD218 and JESD219 standards developed by the JC-64.8 Subcommittee and are focused on SSD endurance.
The Need for Standards
The category of solid state storage (SSS) is one of the most promising and exciting technology areas discussed today. Over the past several years, numerous solid state makers have placed offerings to the marketplace, making strong performance, reliability and endurance claims. The bold positioning of these solutions seemed to indicate that they would become the storage de-facto standard and quickly replace hard drive technology, which has been part of the computing industry for over 50 years.
Regardless of the solid state hype, the market is still small when compared to HDDs. According to IDC, solid state drive shipments reached 11 million units last year, less than two percent of the HDD industry shipments of 590 million units. So why haven’t SSDs yet taken off? Besides pricing and supply concerns, those within the storage industry also believe the answer is largely due to lack of standards.
A standard for SSD endurance validation in particular is a critical requirement of any OEM system maker. Developing standards for SSD endurance provides the confidence needed for OEMs to conduct qualification cycles for product integration. And ultimately, the adoption and communication of standards also helps enable both consumer and CIO confidence to drive the market as well.