When choosing embedded storage, one of the most important things to consider is the grade of the storage device you select. For industrial users, industrial grade and commercial grade are the two most common forms of storage chosen, depending on the need for speed and security versus capacity. Utility cards are a middle-ground option for many applications. With a utility card, you can typically find extended temperature ranges and other industrial card features paired with MLC flash, which allows for a higher capacity. Could utility cards be the right solution for your application? Here are the facts you need to know.
SLC versus MLC Flash
One of the key differences between industrial and commercial grade cards is the kind of flash used. Most industrial grade storage cards feature SLC flash. SLC stands for single-level cell, and it refers to flash memory in which one bit of data is stored per cell. It is the highest flash grade and offers the maximum amount of data security possible. SLC flash is also faster than MLC flash and offers a longer lifespan.
MLC stands for multi-level cell flash. With MLC flash, each cell holds two bits of data. Expanding the amount of data stored per cell allows for a greater storage capacity without increasing the side of the card itself. However, the additional data storage does mean that MLC flash is not as fast as SLC flash and that it has a shorter lifespan.
Solving Temperature Issues with Utility Cards
Utility cards offer benefits that are not found with standard commercial grade memory cards, even though they feature MLC flash. Most significantly, utility cards offer a full industrial temperature range of -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C, allowing them to be used in extreme conditions. Some utility cards have an extended temperature range that doesn’t fully meet industrial specifications but is still larger than the range for most commercial grade cards.
Utility cards also feature a locked BOM and managed lifecycle. These features are important for designers of industrial applications and allow them to get increased storage capacity without compromising their need for industrial-level functionality.
Are you interested in learning more about utility cards from Delkin? Our team is available to answer your questions. Contact us today.
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