What’s the difference between military SSDs & consumer SSDs?

military SSDs

Table of Contents

What is the difference between military SSDs and consumer SSDs? To be precise, military SSDs are as different from consumer SSDs as a million-dollar Mercedes is from a $5,000 Tata. The essential difference between them is not in speed (both can go up to 200km/h at high speed) but in safety and reliability!
military SSDs

Watching traffic accident videos, it becomes clear how important “safety” is, and how much less worrying “reliability” is when you are either picking up your car from the 4S shop or on the way to the 4S shop for repair every week.

The root of the different security and reliability lies in: the different design ideas and the different material selection!

With the same capacity or even the same controller SSD, different design ideas, and material selection, the cost can be several times or even more than ten times!

The design idea of consumer SSD is to pursue performance and save cost. It can use 4 layers, never choose 6 layers, and never use one more material that can save. And the military SSD put reliability in the first place, can use 10 layers of the board will never be reduced to 8 layers of board, material selection is only military level or industrial level, it is these different ideas, early consumer and a military class of many different.

Operating Temperature

-40°C~+85°C is the most common requirement, -55°C~+125°C is also common, while commercial products only require 0°C~70°C operating environment temperature.

Operating Temperature

Under low-temperature or high-temperature environments, the electrical performance changes very much. In addition to requiring all components of military products to adopt at least industrial grade, there are also very high requirements for PCB wiring and plate selection. Those with engineering experience know that for common PCB materials, after more than 2 times of high-temperature baking (e.g. 260°C), PCB will appear foaming phenomenon, the fracture between the layers of the circuit board leads to poor circuit connection, some materials in the repair chip will appear copper peeling phenomenon, and military products selected by the plate under the same conditions will not have any problems, a relatively simple and rough method to judge the quality of PCB board: The PCB is placed in an oven at 260°C for repeated baking until the surface of the PCB becomes a paste and there is no bubbling, which is qualified material.

Reinforcement Treatment

Underfill adhesive

► Underfill adhesive

Consumer products general reinforcement was, what is the role of the military level SSD starting from the chip to reinforce, will use the bottom of the first filling glue to completely fill the bottom of the chip, and then heated to 160 ° C, curing at the bottom of the filling glue can not only have the effect of adhesive between PCB and chip, also can put the chip pin between the air discharge completely, Prevent oxidation of chip pins in the future, at the same time, can also play a waterproof role.

A filling glue imported from Germany usually costs about US$230. Each chip needs to be glued by the dispensing machine and placed at a tilt of 45° for 30 minutes so that the glue automatically seeps into the air until it is emptied and then heated again. The whole gluing process takes more than 1 hour.

► Reinforcing the interface

SATA connector, such as the general structure of plane contact, this structure is simple, low cost, and in common use in the SSDs, but if the anti-vibration effect is extremely strong or has an impact on the environment, there will be a transient plane contact poor contact, lead to signal or data loss, therefore, military products often use special customization of reinforcement SATA interface.

The reinforced connector is shock or vibration, regardless of any direction of vibration will not appear in poor contact.

The cost of a hardened connector is 100 times more than that of an ordinary SATA connector.

Of course, shell reinforcement is also a common way of military reinforcement.

One key self-destruct and other special functions

One key self-destruct and other special functions
From Tom’s Hardware

Consumer products typically have no special functional requirements, while military products require data destruction under various conditions for security purposes.

The design of physical burning is not simply to add some circuits, because the flash itself has its own protection circuit, it is difficult to burn, at the same time, different manufacturers of flash are different, virtually increasing the difficulty of burning, usually after a large number of experiments to ensure that all chips can be burned, Each burn test itself is a costly R&D expense, and the r&d cost of a perfect product should be enough to offset the sales profit of tens of thousands of fake SSDs.


SSD reliability test

The reliability of SSDS requires a comprehensive consideration of various factors. Extensive testing and verification and continuous bug fixing are essential.

While the commercial level SSD does not need to consider so many links, the production process only needs SMT, and aging, in Shenzhen, the industrial chain is developed, and someone provides PCBA, simple manual welding, card opening, and aging can be sold.

How to deal with fake repair goods? It is easy to re-open the card and sell it to another unlucky person. If there is a broken NAND, simply replace one or several pieces of NAND and continue to sell the card after opening it.

So reliability is supported by the cost!

▶ Summary

Years of SSD industry experience

Electronic products have no windfall profits, price and quality are always proportional to “HIGH QUALITY —- INEXPENSIVE” is greedy masturbation just! “HIGH QUALITY” things will not be cheap, “cheap” things will not be HIGH QUALITY, in the FAKES to find “inexpensive” products, not rely on vision and ability, is a small probability of the luck!

Even brand consumer products, in terms of material selection and design ideas, will be completely different from military products, not only to see the price of the world-famous military manufacturers extremely high but also the appearance of the price to see through the essence of the difference between the two.


DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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