What do the medical imaging devices and pinball machines have in common? They both have local storage requirements. From 3D images of my own pearly whites or just the high score of the latest Pinball Wizard, more and more devices are relying on solid state drives to safeguard their most important local data. In fact, our internal research shows that there are more than 50 million commercial devices that typically require less than 500GB of storage.
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Data in Gaming Machines
Pinball machines are a near-perfect example how SSDs are up to task of keeping local data safe. Uptime and reliability are essential. A broken machine makes no money for its owner, and generates service costs for the pinball manufacturer. Every game must run flawlessly through the same start-up sequence, record every bump and bonus in real time, keep a running tab of high-scores, and then start-up again and again for the next players. Most importantly, local data storage must be sturdy enough to stand up to the occasional “tilt.” SSDs mean no moving parts to jostle, high reliability, responsive performance, and capacities as low as 32GB. It’s no wonder that an SSD is poised to be the storage of choice for gaming machines.
Data in Industry
Specialized equipment and PCs for healthcare are another area well-suited for SSDs. My dentist has both digital imaging systems and specialized PCs that chronicle changes to my teeth. Like all PCs, these need up-time, durability, low power, small form factor and product longevity. For example, at my last visit, within a few seconds of taking x-rays, my dentist pushed images to a big-screen monitor, and then pulled up my historical records for comparison—all from a specialized ultramobile laptop that he could take from patient to patient. Both the imaging device and his patient keeping laptop rely on SSDs to store and access data quickly, reliably, locally, and securely.
Data, Data Everywhere
This is just a glimpse of the many products and market segments we at SanDisk see that are making the most of the performance and reliability that SSDs deliver. Look around as you do something as ordinary as go to the grocery store. The two pounds of chicken you just selected was weighed and priced using a digital scale that stores the prices of every cut of meat, fowl, and fish, likely on a small form-factor M.2 or mSATA SSD. Then there’s the point of sale machine ringing up those two pounds of chicken, plus the digital sign you passed promoting the sale on chicken. It’s not that these machines weren’t reliable before, but if any of those machines forced you to wait while it looks up, calculates or refreshes, it would diminish your shopping experience.
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be the need for cloud and server-side processing. However, the more data that lives locally, the more manufacturers and ultimately, consumers like you and me will rely on SSDs.