BOXER-6641 fanless embedded box PC with memory and storage

Are Specialized Memory and Storage Components Worth It?

Posted on June 4, 2024

We have all heard of specialized processors for industrial computers, but what about memory and storage? Do memory and storage modules marketed for embedded applications provide any advantages? 

Let’s find out.


Why Standard Memory Modules Aren’t the Ideal Choice

Generally speaking, the memory modules available in the market are designed for building desktop PCs. As such, they are only rated for light workloads in comfortable environments.

Embedded computers, on the other hand, are expected to run for long durations (if not 24/7) in harsh industrial or outdoor environments. And as a technical breakdown carries a significant operations cost in these applications, you want a memory module that can carry out this task without complaint. 

Then there is the factor of performance itself, with applications like servers requiring faster and more accurate memory than generic modules can provide.


Innodisk Specialized Memory Modules


Wide Temperature

The most common reason for requiring a specialized memory module is if the computer is meant to be deployed in outdoor conditions. This means the system has to function at much wider temperature ranges, from the high heat of summers to the sharp falls during winters. 

This is mostly seen in applications like kiosks and in-vehicle systems, where cooling is also limited, leaving the memory running at much higher temperatures than normal. Even when cooling is available, it mostly focuses on active components like the CPU instead. 

Innodisk’s dedicated Wide Temperature memory modules are designed to operate at their peak efficiency in high heat environments, withstanding temperatures going up to 95 (125 for the Ultra Temperature) modules. 

These wide-range modules can function smoothly at subzero temperatures as well, going down as far as -40.


Server Workstation 

Unlike most industrial or commercial applications, computer servers are not subject to harsh environments. They are usually housed in rooms with air-conditioning and are not subject to direct heat or sunlight. 

This means instead of temperature tolerance, what we need here is better performance. This is achieved by using higher-quality ICs that improve the accuracy of data transmission since the cycle speed is fixed by the motherboard and the CPU. 

Just like wide temperature modules, Innodisk also produces high-quality Server Workstation memory as well. From the older DDR2 to the latest DDR5, all commercially used versions of memory are supported.


Industrial Embedded DRAM 

Apart from specific use cases like server memory or high-temperature environments, there are memory modules available for industrial computers in general. These modules are capable of handling higher workloads than general memory sticks and have a longer lifecycle as well. 

Since industrial computers vary wildly in their build and age, Innodisk’s line of Industrial embedded DRAM modules come in all sorts of form factors. Even SDRAM and DDR1 modules are offered to accommodate legacy systems.


What About Storage? 

Dynamic memory isn’t the only performance bottleneck for an embedded computer. Many applications rely heavily on storage as well, and poor performance in that regard can slow down the entire application.

Things like surveillance systems or data warehouses, for example, require high amounts of data to be written to disk and accessed rapidly. This also means going for faster storage technologies like NVMe SSDs, preferably optimized for industrial usage.

Innodisk produces a variety of storage solutions for industrial computers, ranging from slim SATA drives to high-speed M.2. form factor SSDs. The different sizes, technologies, and storage capacities mean that you can find the ideal storage option for your embedded application.


Is It Worth Investing in Industrial Memory and Storage Solutions?

Any industrial or commercial application requires a higher standard of performance than home usage. While standard components can certainly get the job done, these builds are unable to keep up with the rigors of such applications and prove failure-prone in the long run.

This is especially the case when the embedded systems are meant to be deployed in harsh conditions, either outdoors (kiosks, in-vehicle, etc.) or in industrial environments without dedicated cooling.

Then there are applications like server racks where the performance requirements are steep, and even the slightest decrease in the effective output can cause losses. This is why Innodisk’s specialized memory modules and storage options for industrial and embedded computers are an ideal investment.