SD Cards for Industrial Applications

By SMARTsemi
December 28, 2023

Industrial applications often perform mission-critical tasks. Additionally, technological advancements are making industrial robotics increasingly autonomous. With very little human intervention on the one side but high standards for safety and reliability on the other side, the demands on data storage for industrial systems are stringent, including on the efficiency, speed, access, and capacity of the incorporated memory components. Wide-range and Industrial-grade ICs have clear advantages over their commercial-grade equivalents. Industrial components are developed and designed to operate dependably for extended periods of time in rough environments and in high/low temperature ranges to minimize error and downtime. SMARTsemi offers devices guaranteed for Extended Commercial, Industrial, and Wide Range/Automotive temperature ranges

Memory card performance

SD and microSD cards are popular storage components for industrial applications for several reasons. Memory cards inherently offer flexibility to the designers, engineers, and users. They are also small, portable, removable, and have low power consumption. However, when selecting an SD/microSD card for an industrial application, there are some considerations to keep in mind. The variety in available speed classes and capacities presents flexibility and customization, but it also means that selecting the right memory card for a specific application can be complicated.

The SD performance standards can guide the memory card selection process. More memory capacity and higher speed class are not always better. Depending on the type of files that need to be stored and how they will be processed, the industrial application may not require SD/microSD cards with a high capacity or fast performance. In the case of replacing or updating an application with new SD/microSD cards, it is very important to verify compatibility. Just because an SD/microSD card fits in the slot doesn’t mean the SD/microSD card is compatible with the host device or suitable for the application.

Rough industrial environment

Reliability and endurance are crucial in any industrial system, which is often switched on 24/7 at elevated or very low temperatures and/or exposed to shocks, dust, vibrations, and other elements. Industrial temperature (iTemp) rated SD/microSD cards perform reliably between -40°C (-40°F) and +85°C (185°F). Memory cards, especially, are subject to more physical stressors than the other embedded IC components because they are often removed, transferred, and (re)inserted within the industrial environment. For mission-critical (and sometimes even life-critical) data storage and transfer, it is essential to design systems with high-quality SD/microSD cards that comply with all industry standards.

Preventing data loss

One major risk factor for industrial applications is sudden power disruptions. In an industrial environment, power loss, even for a very short period of time, can have a devastating impact on safety as well as the business bottom line. Memory cards with power failure protection minimize data loss during a power outage and help to recover from it afterward.

Similarly, one cannot infinitely (re)write data on Flash memory cards. Eventually, they will reach end-of-life and need replacement. Monitoring the SD/microSD card’s health and making sure they are replaced ahead of time can prevent data loss, malfunctions, and failures of the industrial system.

Stability of supply

Last but not least, when it comes to selecting memory cards for industrial applications, stability of supply is essential. Industrial applications typically have long product cycles beyond five years. Working with a supplier who offers long-life support from the get-go, saves engineers, designers, and procurement specialists the headache further down the road. At SMARTsemi, we specialize in reliable high-quality memory components for long-life applications. Our product range includes iTemp-rated SD and microSD cards, ideal for a wide spectrum of usages, including industrial robotics, medical electronics, telecom, defense, networking, and transportation applications.

SMARTsemi is your supply chain partner for DRAM components, eMMC solutions, and SD/microSD Flash Memory Cards for long-life applications. With 20+ years of industry experience, we understand your challenges and have aligned our priorities with yours to simplify your memory chip supply chain for the long run. We know what you need before you need it. Get a jump start and request a sample today.

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Established over 20 years ago, SMARTsemi is a Line of Business of SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. that globally manufactures and delivers millions of memory components annually for embedded medical, robotics, communications, industrial, defense, home entertainment applications and standard, ruggedized, and custom memory and storage solutions in high-growth markets. When you think memory, think SMART. When you’re sourcing memory components, select SMARTsemi.