Flash chips for flash cars: SanDisk dives under your bonnet

Your motor's no data centre, but fast-forward a few years....

Got Tips? 3 Reg comments

SanDisk has made its flash products car-friendly, devising SD cards and embedded flash drives (EFD) that auto-makers can stuff into their infotainment systems.

The iNAND embedded flash drives store up to 64GB of data, not much by data centre standards, and the little beggars should cope with rough driving conditions better than any spinning disk drive, optical or otherwise.

SanDisk says satnav maps should load faster, touch screens be more responsive, and connected cars connect more reliably with its automotive flash kit.

It claims its products:

  • Work in temperatures from -40oC to 85oC
  • Has up to two boot/two user partitions
  • Meets AEC-Q100 specifications
  • Has enhanced power immunity

The automotive EFD complies with the eMMC 4.51 HS200 specification. Its performance in data centre terms is abysmal – up to 30 sequential writes/sec and up to 120MB/s sequential read – but you don’t need that much for a satnav device; think in terms of single-tasking devices with noddy processors.

The Storage Vulture says...

This won't last. Cars are bound to become mini-connected data centres in their own right with flash memory becoming the default storage resource, and satnav systems connected to the other IT systems in the car looking after engine management, braking, suspension, communications, and so on.

The big deal is making sure the devices and their connectors can work in any conditions met on the road, meaning when it is as cold as the Arctic, as hot as summer in Morocco, and as bumpy as an English B-road – pothole hell these days. ®

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