Limit Host System to Specific Flash Card

For many embedded industrial applications, the host system designer desires to limit the usage of connected flash storage to a specific part. Reasons for this range from ensuring only fully-qualified parts are used to limiting the source of the flash card to the host vendor.This is commonly used on Industrial CF cards, Industrial SD Cards and Industrial CFast products.

There are several ways to limit which flash cards function in a particular host system. The first one that comes to mind would be for the host system software to check the vendor and part number of the flash card. This method doesn’t guarantee you will get the same Bill-Of-Material though, since most flash card vendors regularly change firmware, controller and NAND flash within the same part number without notice.

A more comprehensive solution would be to work with an industrial flash card supplier to create a custom manufacturer’s ID field inside the flash card’s controller.The advantages of this method are two-fold.

First, the flash card vendor can create a custom part number for the host system OEM with a locked-BOM.Next, at power up, the host system can check for their specific manufacturer’s ID (ex: xyz_corp) prior to using any flash card in the system.If “xyz_corp” isn’t in this field, the system will not function.

Since the manufacturer’s ID can only be written by the card manufacturer at time of production, it effectively limits the use to the embedded OEMs chosen flash storage solution.

The Cactus team has the most in-depth industrial flash storage experience in the industry and can assist with embedded OEM designs requiring “special” features to meet your needs.Please contact a Cactus Technologies expert if you would like to discuss further.

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.