Industrial CompactFlash Cards for High Reliability Applications

Industrial CompactFlash have been used for almost two decades in applications requiring a highly reliable data storage device. Originally offered in a maximum capacity of 4Mbytes, CF Industrial are now available in capacities of 64Gbytes.

CompactFlash cards were originally designed in 1995 to provide a smaller form factor flash storage device for use in consumer and industrial applications. Prior to CF cards at 36.4mm x 42.8mm, the PC Card form factor (85.6mm x 54mm) was the smallest common size of flash storage device.

The Industrial Compact Flash are built with SLC NAND flash which has the highest level of endurance cycles and is most reliability for mission critical applications. Typically, an application will store the Operating System, application software and data storage on the same card. This is similar to how hard disk drives are used in a PC system.

The Industrial CompactFlash cards have been especially popular in Aerospace, Gaming, Military and Process Control Systems. In addition to the high reliability, these cards are appreciated for their long life cycles with firm BOM control.

BOM control signifies the components that are used to build the Compact Flash cards do not change unless there is a Product Change Notification. It’s important because the key components of controller and NAND silicon as well as the firmware that runs the card can cause differences that can effect performance and operation in the system. Most OEM consider it important that the qualified CF card is the same as the parts received in production.

Since Industrial Grade products are used in applications that have long life cycles it is not important just to hold the Bill-Of-Material (BOM) to the same components, it is also important to hold the same BOM for as long as possible. The Cactus Industrial CompactFlash do not change for 3 to 5 years. In many cases we continue to support customers by holding inventory of a particular BOM beyond its normal life as well.

For particular applications, we can customize products and offer additional technical assistance. If you need more help, please contact us.

Steve Larrivee has over 30 year's experience in the data storage market, including 5 years at Seagate Technology and 10 years at SanDisk. He joined Cactus Technologies Limited as an equity partner and Co-Founded Cactus USA in 2007 with partner Tom Aguillon. Learn more about Steve on LinkedIn.