You’ve seen them. You’ve used them to store music, photos and other media. They’re Secure Digital (SD) cards — based on the compact, power-stingy nonvolatile memory standard that evolved from and improved upon the MultiMediaCard standard from years ago. That evolution took the standard from a simple portable-device storage format to one that’s found a critical roll in industrial-embedded applications, where high speeds and large capacities take a back seat to endurance, longevity and data integrity.
SDs’ lower capacities are actually a plus in many applications; they hit the “sweet spot” in distinct uses such as operating-system booting, data logging and code storage. Additionally, the cards all address the storage needs of single-board computers and other embedded-system boards such as COM Express, MicroTCA and Mini-ITX.
SDs are inherently rugged. Manufactured with flash memory and durable metal connectors, they’re able to withstand shock and vibration that other forms of nonvolatile storage can’t, contributing to SDs’ importance in protecting crucial data in demanding environments. But there’s an additional dimension to harsh environments: temperature – extremetemperatures, to be specific.
Industrial IoT — factory floors, Smart Cities in widely various climates and countless other applications subject to extreme hot and cold — puts a high priority on temperature tolerance. Why? Endpoints out on the edge of the IIoT network are usually deployed in remote, often harsh environments that include extreme temperatures. Just like their co-conspirators shock, vibration and excessive read/write cycles, extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on systems’ ability to store, protect and transfer IIoT data.
This is where industrial-temperature support comes in. Known commonly as I-Temp, this designation ensures, unambiguously, that industrial systems can tolerate and operate reliably in temperatures as low as -40°F and as high as 185°F. When you consider SDs often are deployed in extreme conditions, their I-Temp support isn’t a mere luxury but a necessity; the data the system collects and stores are too critical to be compromised. Still, not all SDs feature I-Temp; some manufacturers may claim some form of temperature support – but if it’s not I-Temp, there’s no guarantee their devices can handle the extreme environments in which they’re expected to do their jobs.
Virtium has for years been supplying system makers with our TuffDrive SDs, whose long endurance and product-availability life of ten-plus years are enabled by the industrial-grade, single- and multi-level-cell NAND flash we use throughout our solid-state storage solutions. And as IIoT and other industrial-embedded segments evolve, so too do our solid-state storage solutions: TuffDrive SDs now feature I-Temp support.
Designers and users of IIoT, machine-to-machine and other industrial systems can sleep well at night knowing the TuffDrive SD cards are adeptly handling shock, vibration and extreme temperatures to ensure crucial data is stored and protected.