Chinese storage device maker RunCore recently announced the global launch of its solid state drive (SSD) called InVincible, which has a physical self-destruction mechanism designed to prevent sensitive data from being recovered. Though the RunCore InVincible SSD is hardly something a typical small business will require, it has applications within the defense industry and other fields where the protection of highly-sensitive information is of paramount importance.

At its core, the InVincible SSD offers relatively mediocre performance of 240MB/s read and 140MB/s write over a SATA II interface. Unlike a standard SSD, the drive ships with a standard SATA interconnect that includes additional sets of cables leading off to two buttons that are color coded red and green. Clicking the green button will initiate an “intelligent” destruction function, while depressing the red button will trigger a permanent physical destruction. Both features essentially offer a quick way of wiping onboard data without having to deploy specialized tools or software.

I received documentation with additional details on how the self-destruction modes work on the InVincible SSD. Interestingly, release dates on a datasheet I received from RunCore seem to suggest that the intelligent destruction function could have been around for a couple of years. I sum up the rest of the details below.

  • Intelligent destruction is essentially a fast erase procedure that overwrites the entire SSD by writing a “1” into each cell to wipe all data. The speed of this operation depends on the total capacity of a drive and the flash memory type used in a particular SSD; the documentation attributes it at more than 2.5 GB/s and lists 13 seconds required to wipe a 32 GB SSD, 25 seconds for a 64 GB SSD, and 50 seconds for a 128 GB SSD. The InVincible SSD can be put back into normal use after recreating the data partitions and formatting it with standard disk management tools.
  • Physical destruction is achieved by a high voltage and high current in a short time using a “voltage boost circuit,” with NAND flash chips targeted one at a time. The destruction procedure takes 10 seconds to destroy the SSD controller and storage media; this suggests that it may be possible to extricate some data off from the NAND chips if power is disrupted within this window of time. The RunCore documentation recommends a reboot to ensure that data still in computer memory is also eradicated.

There is the option of MLC or SLC flash memory, and survivability in different temperatures can be specified. The Ultimate version of the InVincible SSD will work at temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius (-40 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit), and the Industrial Grade version of the InVincible SSD will work from -20 to 70 degrees Celsius (-4 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit).

A 64 GB Ultimate version of the InVincible SSD with MLC NAND (RCV-III-S2564-M8D) costs $1,200 for low order quantities. There’s no pricing information for the Industrial Grade version at this time.