Western Digital Brings Resilient Flash Storage to the Edge; Wins IoT Edge Computing Award for iNAND IX EM132

By Ken Briodagh April 16, 2020


It is becoming clear that the IoT is more than a simple data collection mechanism. Much more than that, the IoT industry is made up of a collection of connected things and ecosystems that provides insight into the operations, mechanisms, devices, objects and systems of things that make up any industry or business.

Deriving insights, naturally, comes in the form of analytics on that data, and once created or discovered the data needs to be stored safely, especially at the edge, where devices are often located in harsh conditions with little to no access for maintenance or rescue.

And that is why IoT Evolution awarded the Western Digital iNAND IX EM 132 its IoT Edge Computing Excellence Award, which recognizes the companies emerging as leaders in the growing edge computing space. Companies selected for this award have proven that their products are enabling advanced IoT deployments by offering edge solutions that enable real-time computing, data availability, analytics, AI and machine learning through edge devices.

“The edge of the network is quickly becoming the critical home of intelligence in the IoT, made up of the storage solutions, sensors, gateways, endpoints, and network connections that help IoT-enabled organizations become ever more efficient, sustainable and profitable,” said Ken Briodagh, editorial director for IoT Evolution. “In selecting Western Digital’s iNAND solution as a winner, we saw its power to enable both intelligence and profitability for its customers at the edge of the IoT.”

Western Digital’s iNAND industrial embedded flash drives (EFDs) are designed for reliability in Industry4.0 and other Industrial IoT applications like drones for inspections and deliveries, IoT gateways, connected transportation, industrial and embedded PCs, and automation and networking.Thesestorage devices can withstand heavy workloads in demanding environmental and industrial conditions, and the company has loaded them with advanced memory management firmware that provides purpose-built storage for embedded applications.

“When we talk about the IoT and smarter, more sophisticated things at the edge, we’re talking not only about the demand for higher capacities, but a host of environmental and reliability requirements and features,” said Yaniv Iarovici, director, IoT and Edge Segment Marketing, Western Digital. “As we see more and more applications being connected, we’re seeing more use cases for storage that add AI and predictive analysis and cover everything from manufacturing to smart farming. The closer the data can be to the edge, the better it is for low latency and intelligence.”

One such use case is a partnership between Western Digital and Theobroma Systems, a platform provider for embedded solutions, for enhancement of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) systems in Europe. ETC systems electronically charge a toll to drivers without requiring the driver to stop, using a transponder in the vehicle that is linked to the driver’s existing registered account. For the embedded platform used to support the ETC applicationTheobroma Systems partnered with Western Digital, as its industrial-grade embedded flash devices provide high reliability, endurance, and capacity, in a small form factor with extended temperature ranges to withstand demanding environmental conditions.

“People have in the past looked at storage as an afterthought,” said Iarovici. “And in the past, that sometimes worked, but with IoT and modern edge designs you need to think about storage from the very beginning. We take a lot of pride in offering vertically-integrated storage solutionsthat allowus to help our customers meet their business needs.”

Western Digital is working with customers to make storage a critical part of the design process and leverage it as a business advantage within IoT and edge infrastructure, rather than letting storage become the afterthought in IoT design. As part of this, Western Digital has also been collaborating with hardware and software vendors to build out its ecosystem and engages withmarket leaders and OEMson leading regulatory and standards-focused efforts.

“This has benefits in both directions,” said Iarovici. “Not only are we partnering with customers to help them select, design-inand optimize storage for their needs, it helps us discover new and innovative use cases as well, as wedesign next-gen storage solutions that address our customers’ future requirements and pain points through advanced features and environmental considerations.”

Western Digital’s focus on vertical integration—meaning it offers everything from its own captive NAND, controller, firmware, assembly and testing—which lets it increase its control over the quality of its products and allows it to offer customersthe benefits of this ultimate control in their own product designs.

The iNAND EM132 storage device family’s features include:


Proven reliability and endurance for embedded platforms

High capacity, up to 256GB

3D NAND technology, the first industrial 3D NAND e.MMC

Industrial feature set, including advanced health report, manual refresh, and smart partitioning

Operating Temperature -25°C to 85°C and extended range, XI:-40°C to 85°C

Capacities   16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Core Voltage (VCC) 2.7-3.6V

I/O Voltage (VCCQ) 1.7-1.95V or 2.7-3.6V

For more information on these and other Western Digital Solutions, follow these links:

Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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Editorial Director

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