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ArmourDrive™ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)ArmourDrive

 

Product
Q1. What is ArmourDrive? 
Q2. When were ArmourDrive removable SSDs introduced to the general market?
Q3. What markets does ArmourDrive serve?
Q4. What are the advantages of ArmourDrive compared with other solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD) products? Does Greenliant have comparison data? 
Q5. Does Greenliant offer extended temperature ArmourDrive products?
Q6. What is the difference between Industrial Grade, Industrial Temperature and Commercial Temperature ArmourDrive products?
Q7. Will Greenliant maintain backward compatibility across all capacities and between current and future ArmourDrive products?
Q8. Does ArmourDrive use DRAM for caching?
Q9. What NAND controllers does Greenliant use in ArmourDrive products?
Q10. Is each ArmourDrive tested before it is shipped to the customer?

Technical
Q1. Will a redesign be required if we need to switch to a different capacity ArmourDrive product?
Q2. What types of NAND flash are used in ArmourDrive products?
Q3. How does the host know when the NAND flash is reaching the end of its operational lifespan?
Q4. What file system(s) are supported by ArmourDrive?
Q5. Can you boot from ArmourDrive?
Q6. Is the ArmourDrive firmware field upgradeable?
Q7. If the number of bad blocks on the NAND flash becomes excessive, will the host be able to perform Read functions on ArmourDrive?
Q8. What technical documentation is available for ArmourDrive?
Q9. How are the ArmourDrive data protection and security functions implemented?
Q10. Does ArmourDrive have power interrupt data protection?

Support
Q1. What happens when ArmourDrive's NAND flash memory changes? 
Q2. Does Greenliant offer long-term supply support for ArmourDrive, including no changes to the NAND flash or to the firmware for prolonged periods of time? 
Q3. Does Greenliant have reliability data for all ArmourDrive products?
Q4. Are ArmourDrive performance reports available?
Q5. Where can I find product documentation and marketing literature on ArmourDrive?
Q6. Are ArmourDrive samples available?
Q7. Where can I buy ArmourDrive?

 

Product

Q1. What is ArmourDrive?
A1. ArmourDrive is a Greenliant branded family of removable solid state drives (SSDs) and memory cards. ArmourDrive products are currently available in industry-standard NVMe M.2 2242, NVMe M.2 2280, SATA M.2 2242, SATA M.2 2280, mSATA, SATA 2.5”, CFast and SD / microSD form factors. ArmourDrive products are offered in a variety of capacities, ranging from 4 GByte to 4 TByte.
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Q2. When were ArmourDrive removable SSDs introduced to the general market?
A2. The ArmourDrive product family was introduced in July 2013 via its mSATA ArmourDrive GLS86 series SSDs. Since then, the ArmourDrive family has added the SATA M.2 ArmourDrive GLS87 series, the NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive GLS88 series, the SATA 2.5" ArmourDrive GLS89 series, the CFast ArmourDrive GLS91 series and the SD / microSD ArmourDrive GLS93 series. ArmourDrive leverages more than 25 years of NAND controller and SSD design expertise of Greenliant, and has been developed as a high reliability removable SSD solution to address long-life embedded applications. Through its strong NAND controller and advanced firmware expertise, Greenliant also offers a wide range of removable and ball grid array (BGA) form factor SSDs, effectively providing customers with a "one-stop-shop" solution for all their storage needs.
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Q3. What markets does ArmourDrive serve? 
A3. ArmourDrive serves the needs of communications and networking, defense and aerospace, industrial, medical, security and video market segments. These applications typically require long-term support and reliability, and cannot use discrete NAND flash due to frequent process node migrations resulting in costly system redesigns.
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Q4. What are the advantages of ArmourDrive compared with other solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD) products?
Does Greenliant have comparison data? 
A4. ArmourDrive offers superior reliability and a wide range of advanced features targeting different performance, data protection and security requirements. Please contact your Greenliant sales representative for more information and competitive data.
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Q5. Does Greenliant offer extended temperature ArmourDrive products? 
A5. All ArmourDrive products are available with industrial temperature range (-40 to +85 degrees Celsius) support. Greenliant also offers NVMe M.2, SATA M.2, mSATA and 2.5” SSDs in commercial temperatures (0 to +70 degrees Celsius).
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Q6. What is the difference between Industrial Grade, Industrial Temperature and Commercial Temperature ArmourDrive products? 
A6. Industrial Grade (I-grade) = high-endurance* planar SLC or 3D SLC NAND-based Greenliant SSDs supporting industrial temperatures (-40 to +85 degrees Celsius)
Industrial Temperature (I-temp) = standard-endurance** planar MLC, 3D MLC or 3D TLC NAND-based Greenliant SSDs supporting industrial temperatures (-40 to +85 degrees Celsius)
Commercial Temperature (C-temp) = standard-endurance planar MLC, 3D MLC or 3D TLC NAND-based Greenliant SSDs supporting commercial temperatures (0 to +70 degrees Celsius)

* Endurance options ranging from 50K to 250K, or higher, Program/Erase cycles (achieved with Greenliant’s EnduroSLC™ Technology)
** Endurance options ranging from 3K to 5K Program/Erase cycles
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Q7. Will Greenliant maintain backward compatibility across all capacities and between current and future ArmourDrive products? 
A7. ArmourDrive products use the same standard interface (e.g., SATA, PCIe, SD) and connector within each product line. SSD performance and endurance may differ between current and future product generations due to NAND technology changes. Additional features may be added to new products to address more advanced specifications and market requirements.
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Q8. Does ArmourDrive use DRAM for caching?
A8. For applications that need extra performance, Greenliant offers NVMe M.2 2280, SATA M.2 2280 and SATA 2.5” ArmourDrive SSDs with onboard DRAM. Many ArmourDrive SSDs are also offered without DRAM to preserve data reliability in case of power loss and to reduce power consumption.
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Q9. What NAND controllers does Greenliant use in ArmourDrive products?
A9. Greenliant uses industrial grade GLS55 series NAND controllers in ArmourDrive products. GLS55LS series and GLS55LE series controllers are used in Greenliant’s SATA and NVMe PCIe SSDs respectively. GLS55VL series controllers are used in Greenliant's SD and microSD memory cards. 
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Q10. Is each ArmourDrive tested before it is shipped to the customer?
A10. Yes. Every ArmourDrive product that Greenliant ships out is fully tested to the specified configurations.
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Technical

Q1. Will a redesign be required if we need to switch to a different capacity ArmourDrive product?
A1. No. All ArmourDrive SSDs and memory cards use the same standard interface (e.g., SATA, PCIe, SD) and connector within each product line.
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Q2. What types of NAND flash are used in ArmourDrive products? 
A2. ArmourDrive products use 3D SLC (EX Series), 3D MLC (MX Series) and 3D TLC (PX Series) NAND configurations to meet varying customer requirements for lifespan, endurance and performance. Legacy mSATA 1.5Gb/s ArmourDrive SSDs ArmourDrive SSDs use planar SLC and MLC NAND. ArmourDrive products designed with Greenliant’s EnduroSLC™ Technology can reach ultra-robust data retention and ultra-high write endurance of 50K to 250K, or higher, program-erase (P/E) cycles.
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Q3. How does the host know when the embedded NAND flash is reaching the end of its operational lifespan?
A3. The lifespan of the product can be determined by utilizing SMART commands. Please contact Greenliant technical support for more information.
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Q4. What file system(s) are supported by ArmourDrive? 
A4. ArmourDrive supports all types of file systems typically used in embedded applications.
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Q5. Can you boot from ArmourDrive? 
A5. Booting directly from ArmourDrive will work if the host chipset supports internal flash or ROM memory with system boot code, or if there is an external flash or a ROM installed with system boot code or BIOS. ArmourDrive SSDs support system boot the same way as an HDD.
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Q6. Is the ArmourDrive firmware field upgradeable? 
A6. Greenliant can provide tools for firmware field updates. Please contact Greenliant technical support for more information.
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Q7. If the number of bad blocks on the NAND flash becomes excessive, will the host be able to perform Read functions on ArmourDrive?
A7. Yes. The NAND flash can still be read, but cannot be written to when the number of bad blocks exceeds its maximum allowed quantity.
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Q8. What technical documentation is available for ArmourDrive?
A8. Factsheets are available on Greenliant's public website. Detailed datasheets are available under a valid non-disclosure agreement. Greenliant FAEs provide technical recommendations and design reviews to optimize storage solution selection and implementation. Please contact Greenliant technical support for more information.
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Q9. How are the ArmourDrive data protection and security functions implemented? 
A9. ArmourDrive SSDs and memory cards use various write protection and security functions, such as Secure Erase.
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Q10. Does ArmourDrive have power interrupt data protection?
A10. ArmourDrive products use advanced firmware to offer enhanced protection against data corruption issues during abnormal power loss (dedicated hardware based power-fail protection is offered as an optional feature for select products).
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Support

Q1. What happens when ArmourDrive's NAND flash memory changes?
A1. ArmourDrive is a managed NAND solution, which protects from NAND flash obsolescence by offering customers a seamless migration path, subject to some technical limitations. Customers are notified of product changes and recommended compatible solutions through PCNs (Product Change Notifications).
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Q2. Does Greenliant offer long-term supply support for ArmourDrive, including no changes to the NAND flash, for prolonged periods of time?
A2. Greenliant's Long-Term Availability (LTA) program offers a stable portfolio of SLC NAND-based ArmourDrive products. Greenliant also supports extended availability for select industrial 3D MLC and industrial 3D TLC NAND-based SSDs. Please contact your Greenliant sales representative to discuss long-term ArmourDrive support.
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Q3. Does Greenliant have reliability data for all ArmourDrive products?
A3. Yes. Greenliant has reliability reports for all ArmourDrive products released to market. Please contact your Greenliant sales representative to obtain copies of the reports.
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Q4. Are ArmourDrive performance reports available?
A4. Greenliant offers sample performance reports for select ArmourDrive SSDs. End-users can apply one of the industry's standard benchmark tests or set up a custom test to collect performance data specific to their system environment and usage model.
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Q5. Where can I find product documentation and marketing literature on ArmourDrive? 
A5. General product documentation and marketing literature are available on Greenliant's website. Advanced product and technical information (application notes, benchmark test reports, user guides, etc.) is available to customers through their Greenliant sales representative.
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Q6. Are ArmourDrive samples available? 
A6. Greenliant provides customers with a convenient way to order ArmourDrive product samples (certain restrictions may apply). A sample request form is available online.
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Q7. Where can I buy ArmourDrive?
A7. The list of Greenliant authorized distributors and sales representatives is available online.
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