Understanding CompactFlash Card Durability
CompactFlash is a form of NAND flash memory that is found in a wide array of devices, from point-and-shoot cameras to high level, industrial grade applications. It is one of the most widely recognized and used mass storage devices available, and it has been a favorite with users since it was introduced in 1994. Since that time, CompactFlash cards have of course been updated to keep up with changing technology needs, and today’s versions remain in demand, thanks to their easy integration and compatibility. A question that OEMs naturally have is what kind of CompactFlash card durability they can expect. Here is what you need to know.
SLC and MLC Flash
CompactFlash cards—or CF cards—are available in both SLC and MLC formats. SLC stands for single-level cell. With this kind of NAND flash, one bit of data is written on each cell. Because only a single bit of data is written on each cell, this kind of memory can provide the highest possible read and write speeds.
MLC stands for multi-level cell. With MLC NAND flash, two bits of data are written on each cell. This leads to more complex read and write operations, since multiple bits have to go on each cell using different voltages.
The kind of flash used in a CF card can impact its durability. Because of the complexity of operations with MLC CF cards, they tend to perform fewer read and write processes before wearing out when compared with SLC CF cards.
Industrial Grade CF Cards
For applications that require a long lifecycle with the highest degree of reliability, industrial CF cards are usually the best choice. Industrial cards are designed to operate in demanding conditions, including those with extreme shock and vibration levels, as well as temperature extremes. These features ensure you get peak operating performance and long-term durability, even in rugged conditions.
CF cards can provide an important feature for users who need to monitor durability called SMART—or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Using SMART, CF cards can automatically flag any performance issues, allowing users to take pre-emptive steps to repair or replace a card before a failure occurs in the field.
Delkin understands the need for rugged memory and can discuss CompactFlash card durability with you, and help you find the right fit for your industrial application. Get in touch if you have questions or would like to request industrial engineering samples.