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Fast purge SSDs are the antithesis of
ideal consumer / enterprise SSDs because
they are designed to defeat data recovery.
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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This article will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application)
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics are more likely to fail in others... the article
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flash SSD capacity - the iceberg syndrome
Have you ever wondered how the amount of flash inside a flash SSD compares to the capacity shown on the invoice?

What you see isn't always what you get.
nothing surprised the penguins - click to read  the article There can be huge variations in different designs as vendors leverage invisible internal capacity to tweak key performance and reliability parameters. the article
Fast Purge flash SSDs - when you need more than "Rugged SSDs"

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -
The need for fast data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.

That's because if a disk falls into enemy hands the data protection offered by encryption is not safe enough.

Encryption can be defeated in a short period of time by brute force methods and also by master keys being stolen.

These are unacceptable risks in war time - which is why various methods of fast purge have been developed in the past decade - including blowing critical datapaths using elevated currents (fuse sputtering technology) and destroying parts of a chip using elevated voltage. This is done by special destructive programming circuits which are designed into the SSD silicon. The so-called "erase" which is intrinsic to flash write operations is not a useful mechanism for this purpose because flash memory cells have remanence - which means their previous contents can be read under certain test conditions.

Another new method (unveiled in 2011 and invented by Pangaea Media) appears to use a triggerable ultrasonic transducer integrated in the SSD casing - which destroys memory chip substrates using energy from an embedded battery.

Vendors don't like to talk much about the implementation details for obvious reasons. But the fast purge options offered typically fall into 2 categories:- fastest operation, or lowest power.

Another fast erase / purge option available to designers is the option to render the SSD unusable (destroying key operating parts of the SSD) versus the option to reuse the SSD in another application.

Although many SSD vendors are offering their products with extended rugged operating environment capabilities - it's the availability of fast purge which differentiates "true military" SSDs which can be deployed in defense applications.

Many readers have asked for a separate directory of such products to simplify their search process. Fast purge SSDs are the antithesis of ideal consumer / enterprise SSDs - because they are designed to defeat data recovery. The problem for military SSD designers is that as recovery techniques get better and raw computing power increases - the demands on the purge systems are increased.

Having said that - one military SSD company, RunCore, has inserted an interesting security feature into a consumer notebook SSD range (launched Q1 2010) whereby if your notebook is stolen you send a (phone) text message to it - and it destroys the data.
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Data Integrity in flash SSD Design
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
more bookmarks for "fast SSD erase"
Protecting Military Data in a Flash (pdf)
the changing face of the industrial SSD market
Principles of bad block management in flash SSDs
Why SSD sanitization software fails to protect (pdf)
Reliably Erasing Data From Flash-Based SSDs (pdf)
Security Features for SSDs in Defense Applications (pdf)
adding "E" to MLC - good vs naughty flash in enterprise SSDs
Designing Robust Security Options for Embedded Systems (pdf)
Security Erase - When Data Destruction Becomes Top Priority (pdf)
Challenges in Reliably Sanitizing SSDs - Scramble and Finally Erase (pdf)
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