Use Case

I have an application where I need to write a lot of data continuously (several GB/day). It needs to fit in a very small package. It will be deployed in very remote places. It will not be easily serviceable and therefore must be reliable. A tiny USB flash drive would be perfect, but... USB Drives typically have a short lifespan if you are writing constantly. Speed is not critical (normal flash write/read speeds are fine).


My question: Does anyone make a USB thumb-drive that is designed specifically for significantly increased write longevity? My ideal would be something like this:

  • Small (no bigger than a couple inches long when sticking out of the USB port. Preferably even smaller (like a stubby drive).
  • SLC NAND for basic longevity (100,000 write cycles MTTF is typical).
  • Has write-leveling/spreading to keep from overwriting the same cells too often.
  • Has a large section of unmapped storage cells that can get mapped in when cells fail (similar to SSD failed-cell mapping techniques).

Essentially what I'm looking for is SSD longevity tech in a small USB thumb-drive package. I have tried every combination of search terms I can think of in Google and have found nothing. Maybe it's just my Google-Fu is failing me? Does this even exist?

Thanks ahead of time!

  • I know it is a bit bigger, but would an external 2.5" HDD work for you? No power cable, small form factor, and you will not have to worry about it failing due to too many writes.
    – Cfinley
    Dec 12, 2017 at 16:38
  • @CFinley - Agreed. It would be perfect! ...except it is physically too big, and my core board does not have SATA circuitry, just USB. But you did help me here: I have updated my question to show that yes, SSD technology is what I would like, but in a small USB-thumbdrive package. Thanks!
    – MrChips
    Dec 12, 2017 at 17:04
  • While not a real answer, I have found a german company called Winkom who have put SLC chips into their (USB3.0) sticks. Sadly their webpage is available only in German, but I'm sure they'd also be happy to tell you more about their sticks and to sell to your location.
    – SEJPM
    Dec 12, 2017 at 18:14
  • Additionally there seemes to be a taiwanese / russian company Mach-Extreme Technologies offering their "Ultra" line of sticks which also feature SLC chips.
    – SEJPM
    Dec 12, 2017 at 18:18
  • 1
    @MrChips, if you're writing the data from Linux, you can use a flash-oriented filesystem such as F2FS to handle the wear-leveling for you.
    – Mark
    Jan 2, 2018 at 22:21

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