Data storage

External storage devices

The Flamingo requires an external storage device for recording image data. During an experiment, the storage device is connected to the camera workstation’s USB port. After an experiment, the device is moved to another computer for data processing.

Requirements

The storage device needs to fulfill the following requirements:

  • USB connectivity, ideally USB 3.1 Gen 1 or 2, with a USB-A type connector for the camera workstation
  • 350 MB/s write speed for uninterrupted recording at full camera speed*
  • >1 TB storage space**

*) Considering a PCO Panda running at 40 fps with 2048×2048 pixels (8.4 MB/image). Slower devices can be used, but might impose additional latency during experiments. Faster devices are beneficial for data processing and conversion right on the device.

**) Required storage space depends on user requirements. The Flamingo records 8.4 MB images. This number needs to be multiplied by the number of channels, planes, views and timepoints. Additional space is beneficial for data processing and conversion right on the device.

Recommended solution

A large SSD in an external USB enclosure is a good choice as external storage device for the Flamingo. The Plugable USB-C Enclosure supports M.2 NVMe SSDs and USB 3.1 Gen 2. A matching SSD is the Intel 660p 2TB. Compared to other solutions, this combination is affordable and very fast. We measured write and read speeds of ~900 MB/s.

Alternatives

We tested several other storage devices, and some of them might be a better choice for your application. In addition, new storage solutions become available all the time, and it does make sense to check for more options before purchase.

Device with More storage

The Samsung 860 EVO SSD 4 TB fits inside a UGREEN USB-C Enclosure, providing more storage in the traditional 2.5″ external drive package. Measured speed is 480 MB/s write and 520 MB/s read.

Compact all-in-one device

Both the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1 TB and the WD My Passport SSD 2 TB are all-in-one solutions. Measured speeds are 470 MB/s write and 500 MB/s read.

Smallest device

The Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 512 GB USB stick did not achieve our recommended write speed and does not have a large storage capacity, but can be a handy option for test runs and less demanding experiments. Measured speed is 150 MB/s write and 350 MB/s read.