Technical Success Stories: Industrial Flash Storage Customization
“One-size-fits-all does not work for our embedded/industrial high capacity application. Flash storage customization is required”
Background: A well-known OEM and buyer CF cards was expanding the use and data storage needs for a mission-critical application. They had been adding content to CF cards for a series of years, but now they needed to increase volume, so new application specs now required CF card customization. There were new orders coming in for their application and other areas of manufacturing had increased to meet the new demand. They were in need of CF card customization in order to meet tougher environmental and mechanical specifications.
Customer Story: Upon trial of the CF samples in the new equipment the OEM began seeing that they were just below the required write speed for the capacity needed. They ran the CF cards on their older equipment and they functioned as intended, but with upgraded equipment, they were slightly off to meet spec. Using the older equipment was no longer an option since it was just about EOL. The Delkin Customer Applications Team stepped in to collaborate with the application manufacturer and come up with a solution.
Delkin Discovery: The OEM ran several tests, and determined that the Delkin cards were just about at the speed needed in the read verification test, and not during one phase of the application data transfer process. Delkin’s Customer Applications Team had several phone calls with the OEM’s Tech Team and did a series of tests to determine a custom solution that could meet the spec requirements for the new equipment that would last 5 years until EOL. The fact that the CF card has a controlled Bill of Materials (BOM) was something that gave the OEM confidence in choosing Delkin as an Industrial Flash Storage partner. Lifecycle management was an important consideration for this OEM as they had a 5-year plan.
The customer provided additional technical data to the Delkin Customer Applications Team and a case was opened to examine customization options. The first line of action was reproducing the exact same arrangement the customer was using. Through the exact reproduction of the steps taken, it was determined the cards were slightly slow during the read verification step.
Delkin Solution- Flash Storage Customization: The signal integrity of the CF cards was meeting the correct timing specifications for the embedded system usage, and power draw and other specifications were within the correct range. During analysis, it was noted that the BUS strength of the card had been reduced slightly to save power. Among many options available in the initialization is the option to save power this way. It was also noted that the cable on the EOL application was half the length of the cable on the newer version. The analysis showed the cabling distance between the card and the duplicator motherboard was causing the cards signal to weaken during reads. Delkin customized the card by increasing the card’s bus strength to prevent read verification errors to comply with the specs of the new application.
Lesson Learned: The CF card had been optimized for power, and needed the customization of increasing the bus strength for full compatibility. This should not be overlooked when determining what may be behind the need for a new application. Delkin was able to work with the manufacturer on the decision making process for the correct type of CF industrial flash storage card and complete the custom modification. The answer was that customization of the card, rather than customization within the host application, or software, was the best and most cost-effective solution. Having the help of the Delkin Team also saved the OEM a lot of time in the requalification process. A new part number was issued that Delkin was able to create a locked BOM for, ensuring the full lifecycle management of the CF part. The new customized CF card came complete with new initialization instructions and guaranteed the customer got cards with the added bus strength for all CF card orders moving forward.
Lean on Delkin’s Technical Team: Have you had a challenge with your host storage or need some technical advice on what industrial flash storage option is best for your application? The Delkin Customer Applications Team stands at the ready to be your trusted advisor. We have solved hundreds of complicated host requirements and look forward to understanding your usage model for flash-based Rugged Controlled Storage.
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