Type of NAND Flash Memory
Industrial Grade uses SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND versus Commercial Grade MLC (Multi Level Cell) as the storage medium for data. SLC NAND has 20-30 times more endurance cycles than MLC NAND and has significantly better data retention life and functionality at extreme temperatures.
Industrial Grade products have sophisticated Wear Leveling, Defect Management and Error Checking & Correction (ECC), along with many trade secret techniques developed to deliver reliability across a wide range of applications and environments. Commercial Grade firmware, with its shorter life cycles, is developed to with time to market and cost as its primary goals.
Product Life Cycles
Industrial Grade products exist for >10 years in many cases with as few as 2 Product Change Notifications during that time. The Commercial Grade products typically have lives of 12-18 months.
Supported Temperature Ranges
Industrial Grade products have off the shelf extended temperature ratings of -45C to 90C. In addition, they can be screen tested to much higher and lower temperatures. Commercial Grade products are typically rated at only 0C to 70C or in many cases not rated. We have been able to screen test some Commercial Grade devices to wider temp ranges, but Industrial Grade is by far more reliable at temperature.
The Commercial Grade offerings are significantly lower priced than the Industrial Grade products. In many cases they are several times less expensive than an equal capacity Industrial Grade offering. This is the main reason OEMs consider use of the lesser reliability MLC NAND devices.