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Demystifying Hardware Full Disk Encryption Technology for Military Data Storage

September 13, 2017

Moore’s Law has enabled high-density NAND flash to be mass-produced at price points appropriate for adoption in commodity applications like solid-state drives (SSD) deployed in consumer PCs, enterprise servers, and automotive vehicles. Unlike conventional hard disk drives with rotating magnetic media, SSDs offer substantially higher sustained read and write speeds with lower power consumption.

NAND flash media reliability concerns have largely been addressed through (1) advances in error correction code (ECC) and wear leveling algorithms and (2) NAND flash over-provisioning. For the typical person in the 21st century, modern SSDs are nearly the holy grail of long-term consumer data storage. Few of us experience the failure of a SSD in a computer; in the event of such a failure we simply replace the failed drive or use the opportunity to upgrade to the latest device model featuring a faster processor or higher-resolution display, in addition to taking advantage of the latest developments in NAND flash technology. To most consumers, the uncommon SSD failure is of little long-term consequence thanks to the advances discussed above.

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