Embedded USB memory modules for industrial and networking applications

December 09, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Swissbit’s U-400 eUSB modules offer highest data retention with latest SLC technology and data care management as boot device and for data logging

Swissbit (Bronschhofen, Switzerland) has introduced its U-400 series embedded USB module (eUSB flash module) which includes a range of special features designed to meet the needs of industrial and networking applications. Design centred on maximum data retention, power fail safety, health monitoring and endurance while still maintaining compatibility with existing applications. Key to this endurance is the latest generation SLC flash. On top of this, sophisticated firmware routines eliminate read disturb effects that are common in applications that are mainly reading data over a long lifetime.

Changing operational temperatures, which are common in telecommunication systems, often cause shifts in internal bit voltages and an excessive number of bit fails. The U-400 firmware uses a read retry methodology to compensate for these temperature influences and enables stable operation even at industrial temperature levels and after long periods of utilisation.

Two other data care management features (ECC monitoring and background auto read refresh) complete the feature set that extends data reliability and retention time – especially for read-mostly applications – beyond the already high levels achieved by SLC. These performance-neutral features detect weak cell levels, either upon read operations or as an autonomous background process, and restore the information to its full charge by reallocating the critical data areas.

To complete the reliability focus, the controller offers the best BCH ECC (error correction code) up to 96bit available. The Swissbit U-400 embedded USB module operates at USB 2.0 standard for maximum compatibility and offers sequential read and write data rates of up to 33 MB/sec. The device can be used as a bootable media and configured as a fixed drive. Fast system boot is supported by up to 1500 IOPS in random read mode.

Robust power design and a transaction-based internal protocol make the U-400 series immune to power fail. This has been successfully demonstrated during the intensive product qualification process that involves tens of thousands of asynchronous power interruptions while operating.