Spotlight: Delkin Customer Engineering Success
Delkin Devices doesn’t only feature state-of-the-art, USA-designed flash memory and storage SSD cards for embedded and industrial applications. Delkin’s professional applications and engineering support team also provides world-class assistance on life cycle management and product customization, as well as expert engineering solutions.
A handheld device manufacturer once called us for help, desperate to resolve an industrial SD card failure in their flagship product that was significantly impacting the company’s revenue and credibility. Unhappy customers were calling left and right to cancel their orders, and to report the data corruption they’d experienced.
As this manufacturer’s team couldn’t get a hold of their memory card supplier at the time, they frantically turned to Delkin for support and solutions.
The Customer’s Story
According to the manufacturer in question, six months prior to the incident its marketing team asked to extend the battery life of its flagship product, a handheld device. As this device was the company’s top-selling item and its most profitable source of revenue—as well as the lead device of its product line—extending the battery life simply seemed to make sense. Since a power boost would be capable of upping the business’s market share by nearly 3%, it was projected to make it the company’s most profitable year on record.
With some experimentation performed on behalf of the manufacturer’s team, it was discovered that turning off the industrial SD card’s power would ultimately lead to reduced power usage and therefore an extended battery life in between each charge. The team tested the change to their OEM application and to their delight they successfully achieved a slight save in the device’s power supply. Without hesitation, they then applied the change across all their devices and officially launched the product for sale with its new and improved battery life rating.
Unfortunately, things fell south shortly after the perceived success. One of the company’s largest and long-time clients called to complain about hundreds of failures that had happened in the field. It was the worst-case scenario, as the client expressed it wanted to cancel all open orders, return the products they already had bought, and begin searching for a new provider altogether.
The Delkin Discovery
Upon learning of the bad news, the manufacturer turned to Delkin for help. The Delkin Customer Applications Team didn’t hesitate to get right to work to understand the core issue. Right away, to get a better grasp of the usage model, we checked the bus activity between the card and its host. Though the cards were clearly corrupted, they were failing at random intervals, and we were determined to get to the bottom of the issue as to why.
Ultimately, we determined that the data corruption happening on the SD card was due to the recent power saving software update. What the manufacturer had failed to realize was that despite the SD card’s power being turned off, it could still draw enough power needed to stay on from signal pin leakage. While this kept the CPU alive and performing its functions, any attempt at a write operation would drop the power and create flash write errors.
The Delkin Solution
With creativity and effort, the Delkin team concluded that the manufacturer needed to modify their application by driving the signal pins low prior to shutting down its power. This solution was a double win as the device would save more power while simultaneously diminishing the risk of data corruption.
The manufacturer quickly put the solution to use and successfully shipped the new products to its customers, saving both its clients and its revenue.
Contact Delkin’s Team Today
Do you have a problem with your host storage? We’ve already solved hundreds of host failures with innovation and expertise. Contact Delkin’s customer support team today to learn more.
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