Delkin Blog

FAQs about Rugged SD Cards


For industrial applications that require fast speeds and unparalleled security, rugged SD cards are a perfect fit. SD—or Secure Digital—memory cards have been popular since 1999. They have remained relevant in the ever-changing world of technology thanks to their consistently easy integration and reliability. Whether you’re looking for memory that can tolerate extreme conditions or unmatched reliability to keep your data safe, an SD card fits the bill. If you need rugged embedded memory, the answers to these common questions about SD cards will help you decide if they are the right choice for your application.


What is an SD card?

SD cards are embedded flash memory cards that are used in a variety of applications, from handheld devices for the consumer market to high-level, industrial medical and automation devices. They are designed with standards set by the Secure Digital Association; this ensures that you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase an SD card, regardless of the supplier. SD cards are available with different types of flash memory and in different capacities. In addition, they are compatible with many different kinds of devices, thanks to their low power consumption and small size.


What makes an SD card “rugged?”

A rugged SD card is one that is designed for use in extreme operating conditions. Rugged SD cards can tolerate fluctuations in shock, vibration, and temperature, as well as extreme temperatures, without loss of function. For example, a memory card used in an airplane must be able to withstand the vibration of flying, extreme temperatures when the plane is at maximum altitude, and rapid changes in temperature as the plane ascends and descends without compromising its data security.


Typically, SD cards that are considered rugged are designed with SLC flash memory. SLC, or single-level cell, flash is capable of operating in extreme conditions. SLC SD cards can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C. Only one bit of data is stored per cell in SLC flash memory. This means that there are fewer chances for errors during each write cycle. As a result, SLC flash provides the highest level of reliability and data security available.


Is a rugged SD card the same as an industrial SD card?

Industrial SD cards are rugged, offering high temperature, shock, and vibration tolerances. SLC flash memory is the gold standard for industrial SD cards due to its reliable performance and security. However, some forms of rugged SD cards feature MLC, or multi-level cell, flash memory and provide similar tolerances of extreme operating conditions.


Industrial SD cards come with some additional advantages, including a locked BOM. With a locked BOM, or bill of materials, the core components of the memory card, including the controller, will not be changed without advanced notification and without issuing a new product number. This allows designers to make plans for transitioning to new memory cards and to do any desired final product orders before the change.


Can rugged SD cards be customized?

The answer to this question depends on the manufacturer you choose. Delkin offers a wide variety of customizations for SD cards, including serialization, branding, and packaging. Some of the available customizations, such as conformal coating, make the SD cards even more able to cope with exacting operating conditions.


If you’re looking for embedded memory solutions for industrial applications, let Delkin help you choose the right fit for your device. From rugged SD cards to embedded USBs, we have a variety of options. Our team is dedicated to helping each customer find a memory card that fits their needs. Contact us today to learn more.


ORDER DELKIN INDUSTRIAL FLASH STORAGE TODAY through our distribution partner Newark.

For Europe Contact Our Partner Farnell



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