Industrial-Grade SD and microSD Cards: Reliable, Durable & Secure

Industrial-Grade SD and microSD Cards: Reliable, Durable & Secure

Industrial-Grade SD and microSD Cards: Reliable, Durable & Secure

For two decades, SD and microSD cards have been popularly heralded as the ideal data storage medium for portable and handheld devices. Originally designed for consumer environments, these NAND flash-based memory systems are now undergoing a renaissance in industrial environments, where storage system design engineers are welcoming them with open arms for their impressive reliability, durability, and security. That said, the ultimate robustness of industrial-grade SD and microSD cards relies on the flash controller.

A Natural Fit for Industrial Applications

There are many reasons why SD and microSD cards are a natural fit for the intense storage demands of industrial applications. Primarily, these memory systems are attractive to industrial designers because they are compact in size and rich in features—both valuable attributes for portable devices.

SD and microSD cards offer advantages like:

  • Use of nonvolatile flash storage
  • High data transfer rates
  • Low power consumption
  • Ability to retain stored data without a power source
  • Physical robustness
  • Resistance to water, bending, torque, electrostatic discharge

Even with the growing popularity of cloud storage, SD and microSD cards stand out as ideal options for diverse industrial applications, where removable, embedded, and local storage is favored. Portable and convenient, they are capable of providing on-demand access to real-time data as well as memory expansion for a range of devices.

Industrial Applications Demand Industrial-Grade Security

As designers increasingly turn to SD and microSD cards for industrial applications, these memory cards must meet stricter security requirements.

Consider: Automotive, medical, and other industrial sectors are tasked with protecting sensitive information and conducting mission-critical applications. The risks of failure or data breach are, thus, much higher than in most consumer applications. This puts pressure on systems engineers to outfit SD and microSD cards with more advanced, industrial-grade security measures.

Security Begins with the Flash Controller

Ultimately, the reliability, durability, and security of SD and microSD cards are founded in the flash controller.

Like most NAND flash-based memory systems, neither SD nor microSD cards can operate efficiently without a quality flash controller, as it is the flash controller that hosts the features and functionality that govern the overall security of the memory card.

Design engineers have their pick of flash controllers at varying levels of cost and complexity. But above all, for storage systems in industrial environments, a flash controller must be capable of supporting the system’s security measures.

Deploying SD and microSD in Automotive, Medical, and Beyond

Now reaching beyond the scope of consumer applications, modern SD and microSD cards feature industrial-grade security measures to meet the needs of diverse industrial applications, such as automotive, medical, and fiscal.


Medical products pose perhaps the strictest security standards for storage systems, as lost data or unauthorized access can be truly life-threatening. Whether collecting only small amounts of data (e.g., heart-rate monitoring equipment) or large amounts (e.g., X-ray imaging machines), medical devices must be reliable, durable, and secure. Longevity and resistance are further requirements, as medical devices are often used for several years and must withstand exposure to shock, vibration, humidity, liquids, and radiation.


The automotive sector is also ripe with mission-critical applications that require ultra-reliable and secure data storage. Particularly, vehicles using sensors and compute intelligence demand secure processing and consistent, robust performance to guarantee protection of sensitive information. Again, resiliency is a chief concern, as automotive data storage systems must endure unexpected shocks, vibrations, and extreme temperatures.

Examples of automotive applications for which industrial-grade SD and microSD cards prove desirable include:

  • Drive logs from dash cameras
  • In-vehicle infotainment
  • 2D/3D navigation and mapping
  • Intuitive driver-assist systems
  • Logistics and fleet management equipment
  • Autonomous vehicle control


The fiscal market can also benefit from the reliability and security of industrial-grade SD and microSD cards.
From ATMs to ticketing systems, access control terminals, and cashier systems, PoS (Point of Sale) systems are constantly under threat from bad actors who seek to access and manipulate their sensitive information. To bolster security of these devices and ensure tamper-proof recording of cash register data, organizations need storage solutions that are uniquely designed for PoS industrial environments.

Customized Flash Controller Solutions for SD and microSD Cards

Due to their esteemed reliability, durability, and security, SD and microSD cards are the data storage medium of choice across diverse industrial sectors. To achieve greater flexibility, security, and customization in these systems, engineers should also turn their attention to specialized flash controllers.

Hyperstone’s S9S Security Flash Memory Controller, for example, can integrate hardware and software techniques to optimize performance and power consumption while supporting advanced security techniques. Hyperstone’s API software further allows engineers to develop individual firmware extensions to enable greater innovation and design an industry-grade storage solution that’s custom-fit for their needs. Learn more about implementing the API for industrial design here.