Delkin Blog

Technical Success Story: The Value of SD Card Customization

Collaboration- Putting together pieces of the puzzle

 

One of the reasons why so many of Delkin’s clients are repeat customers is because of the way we work with each client to find the right custom embedded storage for their needs. Oftentimes, this can include experimenting with customizations to ensure that the embedded memory solution that a client chooses works as efficiently as possible in their devices.

 

Recently, Delkin went through this very experience with a frequent customer. This customer had an application that they needed to expand with higher levels of usage and data output. Unfortunately, when testing their new content loading equipment, or duplicator, the SD cards in their application failed every time that the duplicator attempted to add new data. Because they had already placed an order for new SD cards, they wanted to find a solution fast, so that their new cards wouldn’t go to waste. They contacted Delkin, and our team went to work to find a viable custom solution that would allow the customer to make the desired usage changes to their application with their existing SD cards.

 

Problems Encountered

In this case, the OEM bought new duplicator equipment to facilitate the expanded use of their existing application. When they tested the new duplicator, the SD cards in the application began to fail as soon as the duplicator tried to load new data to the storage. The customer had never experienced a problem with the SD cards with their old duplicator, and the failure rates that were occurring with the new duplicator were too high to be tenable. It wasn’t possible to return the new duplicator and simply use the old equipment—especially not with the change in usage levels that the customer wanted to achieve. As such, the application’s manager reached out to the Customer Applications Team at Delkin to get help finding a custom solution.

 

Investigative Process

The first thing that Delkin asked the customer to do was to contact the manufacturer of the duplicator to see if there could be a problem with compatibility. The manufacturer did a test and concluded that the failure was occurring in the read verification test phase, instead of in the copying phase. This led them to determine that the SD cards were not compatible with the new duplicator.

 

Delkin’s Customer Applications Team used this information as a starting point for their own investigation. After recreating the process that the customer was using, they came to the same conclusion that the duplicator manufacturer did. The SD card failure was definitely occurring during the read verification test phase. The team also looked into the old duplicator and analyzed that system in order to better understand the entirety of the customer’s application and its processes.

 

Effective Custom Solution

With a clear understanding of the client’s application and how the system worked with both the new and old duplicator, the Delkin team was able to develop a solution. First, the team determined that the signal integrity was meeting the timing specifications appropriately and that the power draw was in the expected range. However, they noted that there was a design specification for the SD cards to modestly reduce BUS strength. Delkin develops their custom SD cards with this feature because it helps to reduce power use during the initiation of the SD card. The team also noted that the new duplicator’s cable was twice as long as the old one. The combination of the reduced BUS strength and longer cable was causing the SD card failures. Changing the cable associated with the new duplicator was out of the question, but Delkin was able to change the BUS strength of the SD cards for the customer. This customization would prevent the failures from occurring.

 

Lessons Learned

The vast majority of Delkin customers want the BUS strength to be reduced in their SD cards. This optimizes the cards for the most efficient use of power possible. However, this customization could cause an issue when a new piece of equipment is introduced into an application. This is true even if the cards performed fine in the application before the new equipment was used. When issues like this occur, Delkin may be able to make a simple adjustment to allow customers to continue to rely on the same custom embedded storage option they had always included in their devices.

 

Finding customizations such as this is exactly why the Customer Applications Team at Delkin is always on standby. We’re not content to just sell our customers memory cards. Instead, we want to help them find the best, most reliable host storage solutions for their applications. We’re accustomed to working on complex cases, and we’re here to help if you’re experiencing unexpected failures with your system, or if you simply need help selecting storage for a new application design. Contact us any time you need assistance with rugged, controlled storage for industrial applications.

 

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

 

Delkin Devices to attend Embedded World Feb. 25-27 in Nuremberg, Germany

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