What Are Compact Flash Cards in the Industrial world?

flash cards

The present world is rich in data. It flows from one computer system to another with most of our work depending on the data available. This holds true in cases of all lines of work. An individual is most likely to view a flash storage device from his perspective.

He needs such a flash storage drive to keep his files handy and access them from any computer device that he uses. Just as people commonly need a USB device to store their data, industries also need such devices, which is what brings compact flash cards into the picture.

What works for an individual sitting in an air-conditioned office does not work for folks working in an industrial environment. Not only do they need a more robust version of storage devices, but they also need flash cards that boast more space to hold essential information.

So, let’s begin with the basics of things to understand better what industrial grade compact flash cards are:

What is flash storage?

In simple words, any electronic device that holds and stores information using flash memory is known as a flash storage device. It can be integrated into a simple universal serial bus device (USB) for the convenience of use.

Technopedia explains flash storage as, “Flash storage makes use of flash memory, which stores data in an array of memory cells. The cells can range from traditional single cell to multi-level cells.”

In contrast with other traditional storage methods, flash storage does not exhibit a write-protection mechanism for the data. However, it has a fast read and writes potential. Therefore, for storing sensitive information that you don’t want others to find in case you lose the USD flash drive, you need to encrypt the drive so that the data is protected.

This is a crucial precautionary measure to take because it is more common to lose USB devices than you can guess. In the UK alone, about 4,500 USB sticks are forgotten or lost annually. Possible spots of loss include taxis and dry cleaners.

What are compact flash cards in the industrial world?

USB flash drives work well for college students, business executives, small business owners, and so on. They quickly churn out data the moment they are plugged into a computer or other portable electronic devices. Hence, using flash storage is as easy as plug and go.

However, if you view things from an industrial worker’s lens, you’d see that the temperature and other conditions are just not favorable to let the drive do its storage thing. The drive will need to have a stronger endurance than an average USB to survive the environment.

A compact flash card, however, saves the day. It is designed as per industrial standards so that such a storage device can survive and thrive in the critical environment. Such an environment may be related to many industries including medical aviation, military, automotive industry and more.

Digging deeper – features of compact flash (CF) cards

Compact flash storage cards are designed to survive the robustness of industrial environments. This means that such storage cards can survive situations such as shock, temperature, and vibration.

This is what makes compact flash cards ideal as exchangeable data storage devices in industrial environments. Industrial CF cards exhibit a high tolerance to the temperature as well. These can be used between -40°C to 85°C as compared to consumer CF cards that work within a temperature range of -25°C to 85°C.

In addition to their features of robustness, compact flash cards are extremely reliable. To this end, three main pointers should be considered. These include the flash tech used in the making of the device, the efficiency of the algorithm for boosting service life, and the employment of excellent mechanism for detecting and correcting flash memory errors.

Therefore, in a nutshell, compact flash cards in the industrial world showcase the following features:

  • Reliable with a good service life
  • Secure in storing vital data
  • Durable to the demanding industrial environment

Types of industrial compact flash cards

Compact flash cards are up for grabs in two types. These are MLC and SLC standing for multi-level cell and single-level cell flash blocks, respectively.

The single-level cell flash card provides a guaranteed service life as it’s ten times longer than that of the multi-level cell. Thus, single-level cell flash cards are preferred for industrial applications.

Concluding thoughts

Summing up, industrial grade compact flash cards are flash storage devices that are geared for use in the demanding industrial environments. They boast a long service life, reliability, durability, and security. This makes them ideal for use in critical industrial surroundings.

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