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SanDisk launches ultra-reliable industrial memory cards that can handle extreme temperatures

Western Digital is working on a line of ultra-reliable, ultra-tough SanDIsk memory cards meant for automotive and industrial applications. There will be an automotive SD card for use in vehicles and drones, and three industrial cards in SD, microSD and XI formats, all of which are designed to withstand extreme temperature ranges and provide even better reliability than the manufacturer's standard cards.

It's safe to say you'll have to encounter some pretty extreme climatic conditions to bring these cards to their metaphorical knees. The Industrial SD and microSD cards can be used in temperatures ranging from -13°F to 185°F, while the Industrial XI and Automotive SD cards can take temperatures between -40°F and 185°F.

At 80MB/s and 50MB/s, the cards also offer decent read/write speeds and come with a Status Monitor tool and a number of data protection features. According to a report on AnandTech, samples of the cards are in the process of being distributed to manufacturers. We're just hoping the cards will also be available through retail channels at some point in the nearer future... photographers operating in extreme conditions would definitely appreciate this extra layer of reliability.

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Triplet Perar
Triplet Perar

Western Digital employs scientists and engineers who don't use base units in physics? Lucky for us they did not dissemble on how much pressure these cards can endure, because even one pound per square inch is literally unbearable.

1 month ago*
tabloid

I will be glad when all external (and internal) mechanical hard drives are no longer, and change over to SSD.
Been done in the camera industry (like the new SanDiscs's). Should be able to buy a 8TB SSD drive for a few hundred/dollars by now. A SSD is far less complicated to make than a mechanical drive. If they (SanDisc) can do a micro card for cameras, then the sky should be the limit with external SSD drives.

1 month ago
Chaitanya S
Chaitanya S

Most industrial and automotive applications were already using flash storage for a long time now. Hard Drives(microdrives) have been out of use since flash capacities crossed 16GB/card.

1 month ago
Yoda boy

I agree and cannot figure out why they would be dragging their feet on this obviously better alternative.

1 month ago
sirhawkeye64
sirhawkeye64

I had a 32GB Extreme Plus (SanDisk) in its plastic case, go through the wash and 2 dry cycles. Still worked for about 6-8 months afterwards. Eventually stopped working (wasn't recognized by the camera or the computer, but goes to show that they can endure quite a bit. And since that experience, I really haven't purchased anything but the SanDisk Extreme Plus/Pro cards.

After the 2 dry cycles (and thus finding it in a pants pocket) I did a card test and full format/write test without issue, so like I said, it worked for several months afterwards.

1 month ago*
Graham Meale
Graham Meale

I've shot for long periods at -34°C with standard Sandisk cards without any problems.

1 month ago
Triplet Perar
Triplet Perar

What is -34 C? Who can understand that?
Why don't you use Onkians?

1 month ago
Graham Meale
Graham Meale

Terribly sorry. I was using the temperature scale that's used by almost all the world. It's 239° Kelvin.

1 month ago*
anvilsname

Someone doesn't get sarcasm....

1 month ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

I wonder what they changed, if anything at all. I guess a standard SD card would work at -40C and +85C too (the latter is about the temperature SSDs do withstand).

I would be much more concerned about contacts at the extremes than anything else.

1 month ago*
falconeyes
falconeyes

I could find this additional info:
The test requirement for the automotive cards includes:
- -50C to +105C temperature cycles, 1000x
- 85C temperture operation, 1000h
on 77 x 3 samples with zero failures.

It is called AEC-Q100 'Grade 3' where 'Grade 4' is pretty much everyday consumer level. Grade 2 and Grade 1 are a lot tougher ...

1 month ago*
sirhawkeye64
sirhawkeye64

The high end is 185 degrees F, according to the article. I think the high end will be the more important number as opposed to the low number, as I think most cards can shoot in colder temps (maybe not -30 degrees C). I know many DSLRs and even mirrorless cameras probably won't work in that cold of an environment, but I haven't tested. Although I would be curious to see what battery life a mirrorless would get at those temps....

1 month ago
Mon123

I think they will just qualify the existing design during testing; those that made it through the higher temperature range will be sold as the industrial/automotive grade.

1 month ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Mon123 Not possible, testing takes more than 1000h.

1 month ago
Mon123

Not every item is tested to 1000hrs, the sample size is only 77, and these 77 passed then the design (or the manufacturer of the device) can claimed it is “AEC Q100 qualified". This is a design qualification using the 77 units as a representative of all the mass produced units following on.

1 month ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Mon123, I know, except there are 3 lots of 77 samples each.
But if you want to qualify the design rather than select single samples, then you end up with an identical product. You basically say they re-label what they have. However, I don't think so.

1 month ago
cosinaphile

brings new meaning to an overcooked image file

1 month ago
Satyaa

If the speed class shown in the images (U1?) is the only available option, it may not be sufficient for modern hi-res/hi-speed cameras. Not 4K video, not even Panasonic 4K bursts.

1 month ago*
mais51
mais51

@-40 C or F is the same

1 month ago
Rob890

Great for D7500 users

1 month ago
XXTwnz

Why? Never mind. Simple solution, never take the card out of the camera. Only read and write via the camera’s own firmware. People with cards that fail take them out to put in card readers.

1 month ago*
hfjacinto
hfjacinto

I had 2 cards go bad while shooting. I have a back up card and just switched to those. Did a low level format and neither gave me trouble again (so far). BUT I do like the idea of ultra-rugged cards. They make sense. Although at - 40 or 185 I doubt I would take pictures :)

1 month ago
chriskeats
chriskeats

I've shot film at -40, can't remember if celsius or Fahrenheit though :P

1 month ago
sirhawkeye64
sirhawkeye64

I never had a problem with my cards either, and I use the Extreme Plus cards. I thought those could withstand those temps anyway. I guess not, but again, for my use, I don't really need to worry about temps going over 185 degrees F. My Extreme Plus cards have been doing well so far (now about 2 years old, with a lot of reformatting cycles on them). The only one that failed on me was laying in my drive way for about a week before I noticed it (and in that time, it had rained, I probably ran over it a few times, etc, so I didn't expect it to work--and luckily it was also blank).

1 month ago
lacix
lacix

I never ever had problem with SanDisk cards. Kind of unconvinced of need for two card slots cameras. - I believe to having a spontaneous diarrhea is more likely could occur than a card failure. - Of course, I'm not a wedding photographer, how would I know? - :)

1 month ago
LJ - Eljot
LJ - Eljot

Incidently a friend of mine is a wedding photographer and the failure of a sandisk card has ruined a job (well, half of it). It was a one of the expensive ones. (extreme something). And I had a failure of a Sandisk myself. It was a mechanical one. The card just fell apart. With a bit scotch tape I can still use it with my PCs card reader.

1 month ago*
Kareldar

In 2013, after shooting with my Canon 5D christening, for first time I had card failure and realised it only after downloading photos on computer! Next day I run to buy Canon 5D Mark III with two cards slots! And even with two cards slots I have sometimes failure with one of my CF card!

1 month ago
Paul Petersen
Paul Petersen

I had one do the same thing, they really should improve the cases on them.

1 month ago
cosinaphile

perhaps you should pack some Kaopectate \immodium d\ pepto bysmol and a second card because both are inevitable

inevitable .........[ north korean south park puppet dictator voice]

1 month ago
Azathothh
Azathothh

Sony camera users don't need now to worry.

1 month ago
CaPi

So elegantly put

1 month ago
Manzur Fahim
Manzur Fahim

I need some new memory cards :)

1 month ago
justnuaces

Please, can you use understandable units?
Thanks.

1 month ago
MyManD
MyManD

You know in the time it took to write this comment you could've googled the conversions.

1 month ago
LJ - Eljot
LJ - Eljot

That ist "easy":
T(celsius) = (T(fahrenheit) − 32) · 5 ⁄ 9
So:
-40°F = -40°C = 68°Ré
-13°F = -25°C = -20°Ré
185°F = 85°C = -32°Ré

Thank you calculator from Japan!

1 month ago*
justnuaces

@MyManD
I know, but i was busy to translate my lorry speed to Furlong/week.
(Cheers from the other seven billions :-) )

1 month ago*
FantasticMrFox
FantasticMrFox

"You know in the time it took to write this comment you could've googled the conversions."

I bet he knows, but just like me he's probably tired of having to do it all the time. Like spending half the time cooking googling the weight differences between and conversions of a cup of sugar vs. a cup of flour vs. a cup of blueberries ...

98% of the world have accepted the metric system as the most sensible one, it's only two developing countries and the US that feel the stubborn need to use a completely pointless and illogical alternative system.

1 month ago
Aberaeron

What can be easier than a linear scale where 0C is freezing point and 100C is the boiling point of clean water? The vast majority of the world's population understand this, yet it is too complex for you. ROTFLOL

1 month ago
PanoMax
PanoMax

I had a few SD cards destroyed when my car caught fire after it crashed a month ago. I guess there is still work to do to make them impervious to fire. Two of my cameras were also destroyed...a GX7 and a Sigma DP3 Merrill.

1 month ago
Kharan
Kharan

Wow, are you unharmed? That sounds like a serious accident.

1 month ago
PanoMax
PanoMax

I was unharmed save for a bruise or two. The car was a 2007 Subaru Forester.

1 month ago
LJ - Eljot
LJ - Eljot

Forrest fire.

1 month ago
cosinaphile

as unfortunate as the loss is ....cards and cameras are replaceable

1 month ago
Kharan
Kharan

Good to hear, the gear is replaceable, your life... not so much :/

1 month ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

I thought car fires are pretty rare now. Why did it catch fire? Broken tank?
Good you made it out in time!

1 month ago*
GabrielZ
GabrielZ

It would be nice to have these in UHS-II format.

1 month ago
Tim McClanahan
Tim McClanahan

Even better, V90 and in high capacity.

1 month ago
anvilsname

Does the interface matter if they only support 50MB/S or 80MB/S?

UHS-I is not going to be limiting it in any way.

1 month ago
GabrielZ
GabrielZ

I wasn't clear in my comment...I meant faster UHS-II versions of these cards.

1 month ago