For almost every Embedded OEM design, the advantages of Industrial Grade flash storage based on SLC NAND flash would be the ideal solution if it were within the budget. After analyzing the design, many Embedded OEM engineers find they can get the Industrial Grade advantages at an acceptable cost.
The first step to this process is to determine the actual capacity needed for the system design. Many OEM designs using Commercial or Consumer SD Cards have been forced by obsolescence to move from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8GB in storage capacity. This is the minimum storage capacity available and the way of the volume SD card suppliers.
Some legacy and even new OEM designs do not require more than 128Mbytes even though they are now using a 4 or 8GB minimum capacity SD card. When the customer considers Industrial Grade products they ask for pricing on the 4 or 8GB and are hit with sticker shock.
While there is not a significant difference in price for a 4 or 8GB Consumer SD Card, the difference in price for a 4 and 8GB Industrial Grade SD Card is almost 2x.
But the news gets better since Industrial SD Cards are offered in long life versions down to 128Mbytes. If no more than 128Mbytes is needed for a particular OEM design, why use more? An example would be an embedded traffic monitoring system, exposed to the elements, running DOS or RTOS and a small application.
The Industrial Grade advantages, of high reliability & memory endurance, extreme temperature resistance, locked BOM control and long life cycles make a perfect replacement for a high capacity Consumer card based on the much less reliable MLC or even TLC NAND.
In many instances, a low capacity Industrial Grade Flash Storage device can be had at or near the same price of a much higher capacity Consumer card. It will operate for decades in most severe environments without the need for maintenance or intervention.
We continue to provide low capacity, highly reliable Industrial Grade Flash Storage products to many customers worldwide. If you would like to discuss your particular application, please contact us.