Differentiating Factors of Panasonic's Quality SD Cards

June 03, 2016
By Eugene Parker

Panasonic makes high quality SD Cards for demanding industrial and commercial applications. They are durable, safe, affordable, and it offers reliable storage memory alternatives. Panasonic SD cards have 4 notable advantages:

  1. Proprietary controller
  2. Locked BOM
  3. 100% screen testing
  4. Log analysis service

Proprietary Controller                                 

In order to create a line of high quality SD cards, Panasonic's engineers designed and optimized an SD card controller to mitigate the inherent NAND flash degradation issues. NAND flash is the component within SD cards which stores data. All NAND flash is limited by a finite number of program/erase (P/E) cycles. Like all semiconductors, NAND flash undergoes a die shrink which reduces the number of P/E cycles before failure. Panasonic's custom controller firmware algorithms help to reduce error rates and increase the performance of the NAND.

These algorithms include

  1. Static and Dynamic ware leveling
  2. Strong Error Correction Control
  3. Automatic Data refresh
  4. Power failure recovery
  5. SMART functions

Locked BOM

In order to maintain a level of consistency and quality all SD cards sold by Panasonic have a locked bill of materials (BOM). By having a locked BOM, Panasonic guarantees to keep the same controller, firmware, and NAND flash in each card with the same part number. This helps the customer to avoid board level errors caused by an unannounced change in the firmware and/or components of the card.

100% screen testing

Instead of testing a sample from each batch of cards, Panasonic tests every single card before shipment. Doing this maintains the level of consistency between two cards. Data is written to the card, then it’s erased, and then it is written and erased again. Not only does this confirm the card can be written to and erased, but it also ensures that the capacity on the datasheet matches what is actually available.

Log analysis service

Panasonic offers a log analysis service - a lifetime analysis simulation which allows the customer to know exactly how long our SD cards will last in their system. The lifetime of a card varies dramatically based on how it is accessed as well as the type of card (SLC, MLC, TLC). Panasonic sends a special log analysis SD card which records sector data as the card is being used. After the card is used for 1 week, we use the recorded data to simulate the lifetime of the card and make a product recommendation based on the customers target lifetime.                                              

As stated, Panasonic's high quality SD Cards have been designed and optimized to mitigate the inherent NAND flash degradation. These five algorithms, Static and Dynamic ware leveling, Strong ECC, Automatic Data refresh, Power failure recovery, SMART functions, helps to reduce error rates and increase the performance of the NAND.