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SD Card functionality in a field-proven, rugged and reliable industrial product

11 May 2018

If you’re looking for memory storage that gives you the flexibility and functionality of an SD card, with superior security and durability, look no further.

Last year saw the launch of the Industrial DFX – memory tokens and receptacles that provide SD card functionality and use the proven RUGGEDrive token form factor.

What’s so good about them?  Well, here are three reasons why more design engineers are using Industrial DFX than ever before:


  • Industrial Temperature Operation – Industrial DFX tokens are rated to operate over the entire -40°C to +85°C industrial temperature range.
  • Fixed/Controlled BOM – SD cards consist of a controller IC and firmware, and a NAND flash memory IC. With normal consumer-grade SD cards, the controller IC, firmware and NAND flash memory can change from lot to lot, even on the same model. The new Industrial DFX memory tokens use SD memory with a fixed bill of materials (BOM), where the controller IC, firmware and NAND flash IC won’t change. This means the memory we tested and qualified is the same memory we use in production, providing consistent performance, reliability and even nominal memory size over time.
  • Available as MLC (Multi level cell) or SLC (single level cell)  Models – The new Industrial DFX line can also offer SLC NAND flash for applications requiring a more robust memory technology The biggest difference is the number of times each memory cell can be written to before it wears out and is no longer usable. MLC NAND flash typically provides around 3,000 writes, where SLC NAND flash provides 60,000 to 100,000 writes per cell. SLC is also faster and has better unpowered memory retention capabilities over time. The Industrial RUGGEDrive line will launch with one SLC model, the DFX1GB-IS, providing SD card functionality with 1 GB of SLC NAND flash.

The Industrial DFX models (DFX-I) uses MLC NAND flash, providing SD card functionality with 4 -64 GB of MLC NAND flash.


What makes them different to USB sticks and SD cards?

The DFX token differs from SD cards and USB flash drives in three important ways.

The first is that the memory token's unique form-factor means that it can't plug into an un-adapted PC or system, which helps to protect the data on the token. 

The unique form-factor of the receptacle can also prevent consumer devices from plugging into the OEM’s system, which helps protect that system from unauthorised access, and prevents malicious files, such as viruses and Trojans, from being uploaded. 

The token's controlled availability virtually assures that only approved devices are used in the OEM system and provides the OEM with an additional revenue stream from the sale of memory tokens to their users. Furthermore, this means that should a data token be lost or stolen the data stored on it can’t be accessed by anyone without an appropriately adapted PC or system.

Secondly the tokens are manufactured using a solid over-moulding process and are constructed out of an ultra rugged composite plastic material.  This makes them impervious to penetration by liquids and practically crush-proof.

The final major difference is that the DFX range uses a contact system with a high lifespan of 50,000 cycles, compared to just 1,500 cycles for most type A USB receptacles.  At just ten cycles per day a USB Type A receptacle will exceed its rated lifespan in only five months.  At the same ten cycle per day rate, it would take a Datakey Electronics receptacle 13 years to exceed its rated lifespan.


Want To Find Out Why We Are More Rugged Than the Rest ? 

Off-the-shelf industrial memory solutions might be tempting, but to meet the challenge of different hazardous environments you need a truly resilient product.


Click Below To Download Our White Paper – Improving The Physical Ruggedness Of SD Cards For Use In Harsh Environment Applications and discover

  • The pros and cons of departing from the standard SD shape
  • Operational changes within the standard shape

Industry Connections: Nexus GB Ltd

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