Our SSD storage is for life

Optiarc, an optical archiving disk maker, has released three SSD products that ensure “storage for life [and that] a user will be able to maintain their content indefinitely.” However, there is no public warranty period and the company has not published detailed endurance data.

The VP Series 6Gbit/s SATA interface SSD comes in with 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities using 3D NAND. They are “guaranteed no data loss SSD due to faulty memory.” 

Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) is two million hours, which is unexceptional. Out of the box performance is up to 550/490 MB/sec sequentially reading or writing. Nothing unusual here, either.

The no data loss claim is unusual, though. Optiarc said it protects against cell corruption and permanent fatal errors to ensure users can maintain content indefinitely.

Look! Some strings

How? Optiarc points out that “3D NAND cells are built vertically in strings, meaning a defect in a single cell will most likely negatively affect the performance of the entire cell string. This minor contamination could lead to massive failure potentially causing total data loss.”

Optiarc said it prevents this from happening by;

  • Sourcing the best parts and components available, using higher material purity and prequalified 3D NAND chips.
  • Fine tuning SSD firmware to better control the data flow and prevent errors or overloading at the cellular level. This regulates the flow of content and directs it to the appropriate cell(s), to prevent cells from potentially being over-worked and also creates faster retention.
  • The firmware can detect if a cell has the potential to fail and balances the loading in that cell to prevent the possibility of failure and potential data loss.
  • Implement intensive testing procedures that go far beyond the standardised mainstream testing process. Using state of the art hardware to test each element of every single SSD we produce to check the drive’s potential to fail, robustness of its memory and cellular structure, read / write speed optimisation, and much more to protect against contamination and ensure long term reliability and stability.

Some of this sounds like normal wear-levelling.

Optiarc CEO Calvin Chang said in a statement: “Because of these 3 key factors; high calibre components, enhanced firmware, and intense testing, Optiarc is able to virtually eliminate the risk of data loss and corrupted data integrity across its entire line of SSD models.”

“Virtually eliminate” is not quite the same as maintaining content indefinitely. Blocks & Files has asked Optiarc for the endurance data to back up the guaranteed no memory loss for life claim.