Choose the right SD card

A quick guide to SD card speed and capacity for video recording – with infographic

As early as 2015, the world was already snapping over 1 trillion photos per year. On top of this, the demand for 8K video devices continues to grow – not only in the broadcast and film industry, but by consumers as well. There’s one thing related to this we don’t often think about, however. All these amazing pics and videos need to be stored somewhere.

Thanks to the cloud, storage is typically an “out of sight, out of mind” thing for a lot of people. Everything gets backed up for us behind the scenes. While cloud storage is freely offered by many providers, the network fees for uploading large, high-resolution photos and videos can quickly burn through data limits or add up in overage fees. Plus, not all video devices support mobile connections. So you still need portable, fast, high-capacity internal storage on your device to store the video until you decide where the final files will eventually “live” – whether in the cloud or on a home storage device.

The noble SD card lives on

Memory cards can usually be purchased at an affordable price, making them an attractive local storage option. SD (Secure Digital) cards – are used as portable storage in a wide variety of consumer devices – video game consoles, set-top boxes, home security cameras, and VR setups to name a few. Most notably, though, the noble SD card still finds its greater purpose in storing high-quality videos and pictures for people on host devices such as digital cameras, drones, action cams, and smartphones. And because SD cards are so ubiquitous and have been around for decades, they’re easily swappable between devices.

The SD Association – with members such as Kioxia, Panasonic, Canon, Tuxera, and others – is responsible for maintaining the standards related to SD card storage. In 2016, they launched Video Speed Class. This class brought zippy speeds and better performance to SD cards. More recently, the SDA announced the SD Express spec, bringing gigabyte transfer speeds to SD memory cards. But how do these classes compare to others? To help sort things out – and to help make choosing SD cards a bit easier for video recording – we put together this quick guide. Plus, we’ve summed it all up nicely in an infographic for you at the end of this post.

1. Know your type

First things first. You of course need the right physical size for your device. SD cards used to come in three sizes: standard (SD), miniSD, and microSD. SD cards are the largest and have a “cut corner” design. MiniSD cards are lighter and smaller than SD cards. This size is not commonly made or found today since the launch of microSD cards (the smallest SD card of all), however. As a matter of fact, SDUC and SDXC cards, explained below, are not found in mini size at all.

Secondly, you’ll want to get the right amount of memory, or capacity, to meet your needs. The SD specifications developed since the year 2000 have led us to four different capacity standards: SD, SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC. Each standard supports a different capacity, or the amount of data you can store on it. SD offers up to 4 GB, SDHC from 2 to 32 GB, and SDXC can hold up to 2 terabytes. And if you’re going to be doing a lot of 4K and 8K video recording – the SDUC standard can hold up to a whopping 128 TB on a single small card. That said, as of 2022, we’ve yet to see any SDUC cards launched to the market.

You can generally find the supported physical size (standard, micro, mini) and capacity standards (SD, SDHC, SDXC, SDUC) in the user manual for your device.

2. Check your speed

The speed class rating was introduced by the SD Association as a way to quickly provide information about the minimum write performance of SD cards. The idea was to help you decide which card to purchase to meet your specific usage needs. The speed class rating shows the minimum speed of the card, not its actual speed. If two cards have the same class, it doesn’t automatically mean that both cards will perform equally. Manufacturers usually go well above those minimum requirements and offer much higher speeds. In addition, the device using the SD card also plays a part. A card might support writing at 100 MB/s, but the device might not be capable of sending data as fast as it can be written. That’s why it’s important to check SD card compatibility from your device’s user manual or tech specs.

Speed Class – SD cards

The original speed class was simply named “Speed Class” and is designated by the Speed Class Mark (shown in the infographic below). Speed Class simply indicates the card has the minimum write performance to record video. The classes are 2, 4, 6, and 10, which correspond with the minimum write speed in megabytes per second. These classes are used in camcorders, cameras using video mode, dash cams, and smartphones covering video formats up to Full HD.

UHS Speed Class – SD cards

UHS stands for Ultra High Speed and offers high performance on UHS-compatible devices. This speed class is known for very rapid data transfer – up to 312 megabytes per second – from the SD card hardware to the device central processing unit (CPU), otherwise known as bus-interface speed. These classes include UHS 1 (U1) and UHS 3 (U3) and support full HD to 4K video formats. UHS classes are used in UHS-compatible devices such as action cams for real-time broadcasts, large-size HD videos, and high-quality professional HD.

Video Speed Class – SD cards

Cards marked with the “V” speed class offer rapid speeds and superior performance for ultra-high resolution, high-quality videos, and multi-file recording. Multi-file recording refers to video data recorded simultaneously with data from another sensor, like location and altitude data in drones, for example. The Video Speed Classes are V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90, and the numbers correspond with the minimum write speed in megabytes per second. This class supports from HD format up to 8K video in drones, 360-degree cameras, action cams, and VR cameras.

The new “spec” – SD Express

The new speedster on the block is SD Express. First announced in June 2018, then updated in May 2020, the SD Express specification offers the fastest data transfer rates – nearly 4 GB/s! The spec can pull these rapid data transfer speeds using the PCIe Gen 4 interface and NVMe application protocols, commonly found in solid-state drives (SSD). What’s so impressive is that you get the same fast performance as computer storage in a tiny, portable form.

This amazing transfer rate is surely promising for huge 8K video files, where you need faster throughput for rapid data transfers. According to the SD Association, the cards should be very applicable for a variety of video applications, including super-slow motion video, RAW continuous burst mode and 8K video capture and playback, and 360-degree cameras/videos. Despite all the potential, we have yet to see an explosion of SD Express cards on the market – plus devices that support the new spec. Expect to see more of these coming in 2022, however. They’ll have “EX” or “Express” as part of the SD logo.

3. Properly format your SD cards before use

Simply put, formatting is the process of preparing your card for use by an operating system. There are several tools you could use to format your SD Card, including the disk utility apps that come natively on Windows PCs or Macs. But before you just go with the default formatter, consider using the official SD Memory Card Formatter app to do the job – especially if you want the absolute best performance and lifetime. The formatters built-in to your operating systems are rarely tested as rigorously as the SD Memory Card Formatter and may not follow the SD standards and specs as closely. The SD Memory Card Formatter is designed to be the best tool for the job, for virtually every type of user – offering you the highest level of performance and reliability for all of your formatting and reformatting needs.

As it just so happens, Tuxera is the developer of the SD Memory Card Formatter app. In our testing of the SD Memory Card Formatter performance, we found sequential reads were on average 52.5% faster over native OS formatters, plus 3% faster random reads and 61.2% faster random writes. That’s obviously a tremendous advantage for any user, but especially videographers and cameraphiles.

Be aware that if you do format your cards, everything on it is deleted in the process. So if you have anything important stored there, make sure you back it up before you format.

You can find the free SD Memory Card Formatter from the SD Association’s website.

SD Memory Card Formatter

Final thoughts

To recap, not all SD cards are the same: size, capacity, speed, and intended use are the determining factors when deciding between SD cards. Even though cloud storage is in the spotlight, SD cards are an easy and affordable way to get extra storage on your cameras, drones, smartphones, and other video-enabled devices.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tuxera’s FAT and exFAT file system implementations manage and handle data for billions of consumer devices that use SD card storage. With our software embedded inside your video-enabled device, your content is reliably stored on your SD card – with no lost data or frames.

And now for the infographic:

How to choose an sd card for video

UPDATE: This post was originally published in Tuxera’s blog in 2016, and updated with new info in 2022.


Tuxera – car IVI data storage software history

A brief history of in-vehicle infotainment and car data storage

Forget the concept of cars being smartphones on wheels. Vehicles are rapidly headed toward whole “living rooms on wheels.”

Traffic updates, maps, music, movies, games, apps – these are some of the services that are already available in the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems of today. But the dream car of the future will have all of this and more meaningful experiences too – like VR entertainment or fine dining.

But how do we craft those experiences? Well, it requires a helluva lot of data served up by the IVI. And whenever you have data, you also need a way to manage and store it.

The development toward data-driven IVI has been many decades in the making. Did you know that Tuxera – one of the 20 Coolest Data Management Companies – is also a part of this history? We thought it would be fun to travel back through time and see how data, storage, and car infotainment have been entwined over the years. Read on for a rundown of how this triad has evolved – and how Tuxera’s data management software grew to be a part of that story.

We’ll start off where the IVI begins – the radio!

Pre-1940s: The radio star, IVI’s early ancestor

Automotive "Storage" in 1931 – the trunk.

The earliest ancestor of the IVI was the car radio, which has roots all the way back to Chevrolet in 1922! That first model was unfeasibly bulky and extremely expensive, however. Thus, we had to wait until the 1930s for the radio to become a notable part of the dashboard.

Back then, the only “data” to speak of was transmitted as music and voice carried by radio waves, and storage space strictly meant the physical space for storage – the car’s trunk.

1940s and 50s: Radio pre-sets as mechanical “data” storage

Throughout the 40s and 50s, car radios acquired physical buttons to remember your favorite radio stations. To “program” your favorite stations or “preset” them, you would activate one of the buttons, tune the radio dial to the radio frequency you like, then push in the button to “remember” the station. Every time you again pressed that button, the radio tuner would jump straight to that favorite frequency or yours. This feature represents the first way to store data – in the form of station presets – within the car, albeit through mechanical means.

Preset radio station buttons in 1950s.

I have to stop this piece for one brief moment and give MUCH RESPECT to Dr. Peter Goldmark, former Head of CBS Laboratories, who actually got a vinyl record player working inside a car in the 1950s. This led to a brief appearance of the in-car record players during that decade. Incidentally, if you own a Chrysler with one of these babies, I will definitely hit you up for a ride sometime and bring my own 45-single to play!

1960s – 1980s: The cassette tape and analog data storage era

Car casette tape deck, 1980s.

The 60s gave rise to the first widely adopted form of external analog data storage for cars – the eight-track cassette. Magnetic tape had already been in use for a few decades to store and playback audio data (also known as music). In simplest terms, data – or audio signals in this case – is stored on magnetic tape through magnetic manipulation of the tape’s oxide layer, which can be later turned into an electronic signal during playback by a tape head – and finally played through the car speakers.

Eight-tracks were large and cumbersome, however, which led to the dominance of compact cassette players in cars throughout the 70s and 80s.

What’s more, on-board navigation entered the Japanese consumer scene in 1981 through the Electro Gyro-Cator – a system developed in cooperation between Honda, Alpine, and Stanley Electric. The Electro Gyro-Cator did not use GPS satellites for navigation, rather it was an inertial navigation system with a built-in gyroscope. It had transparent map films that were illuminated on a screen and scrolled around as the car moved. That said, automotive navigation technology was very expensive (in the Electro Gyro-Cator’s case it cost a quarter of the car’s total value!), and thus took a couple decades to be simplified and integrated into consumer cars.

1990s: CD was king and digital data gained a foothold

By the 90s, digital data made its way into cars on compact discs (CDs). CD-players became an integrated part of the car, or at very least one of the most highly prized after-market additions. That’s because the CD was very light and portable, so it became very easy to take your music everywhere.

CDs are made to store data along a track by etching microscopic “pits” along the surface, and gaps in between the pits. As the CD spins, a finely tuned laser is beamed over the surface, reflecting light back at a reading sensor.

1990s car CD player.

The reflected light changes depending on whether the laser is hitting a gap or a pit, thus forming the familiar 0s and 1s of the binary data-system.

Even though CDs were small and light, they still required physical space to store in cars. As an aside: they were often a target of car thieves as well, if you had any sign that your car could be carrying a treasure trove of CDs.

In addition to the CD player, GPS navigation and backup cameras were popular after-market accessories that became fundamental components – setting the foundation for the IVI as we know it today. The end of this era also brought the first head units that played MP3s, while high-end autos shipped with DVD players.

2000s: IVI as we know it was born with Generation Z!

2000s car head unit

The first true IVI systems as we might recognize them emerged in the early 2000s. These early head units had touchscreens to play your music, and served up GPS navigation assistance. The interfaces were simple – often created in-house by the suppliers responsible for building and integrating the IVI.

The first hard drives also shipped inside cars to store data needed for navigation or other data needed by the IVI.

By 2006, USB slots made their appearance in cars, which could be used to transfer data, music, videos, or maps from USB flash drives to the IVI. Bluetooth connectivity also came into demand to allow you to take calls, and eventually for streaming music from your smartphone.

These two monumental feature developments for IVI – portable data connectivity and Bluetooth – allowed you as the driver to bring whatever data or media you wanted into your vehicle.

Another landmark moment in the history of IVI during this decade was the formation of the GENIVI Alliance in 2009. The alliance was a cooperative effort by many of the large carmakers, suppliers, chipset makers, and automotive electronics vendors. This cooperation was originally aimed at driving the widespread adoption of an open-source development platform for IVI. The ultimate dream of such a collective would be to effortlessly and seamlessly deliver a plethora of services and entertainment to your vehicles – no matter what type of car you drive.

2010s: The “bring your own data” years peak

By 2010, USB and also SD card ports were already commonplace in most major car brands. Media and data were brought into the car on these forms of portable flash media. At the same time, IVIs were also getting more complex. The IVI did a lot more things for you on top of music playback – running basic entertainment apps, navigation, indoor climate controls, and facilitating handsfree phone use. To do all these neat new things, the IVI needed built-in, embedded flash media (such as eMMC) to support internal storage of the IVI’s operating system, the built-in app storage, and map data.

Car IVI and dashboard 2010s.

Some IVIs had two different built-in storage media: an embedded storage chip like eMMC, and an embedded SD card (which could only be removed by a service professional) to store data like maps. And remember, because this was the age of portable data, the IVI also needed to support data transfer between the IVI system and the portable storage.

Especially in the early years of this decade, USB sticks and SD cards were mostly formatted with the FAT file system. The problem with FAT is that you could only store files up to 4 GB in size, and as digital media became more prevalent and of higher quality, file sizes continued to grow. While that’s not an issue for most music files, it started becoming a problem very quickly for map file size. Not to mention, many people wanted to use the same USB sticks or SD cards in their home computers, their set-top boxes and TVs, and bring them back into the car – so they were storing not only music, but also large video files on these same removable storages. The NTFS file system and later exFAT could support these larger files, so the IVIs had to have internal software to support more file systems beyond FAT.

This is also the age where various storage-related problems started to show up inside your cars – a laggy or unresponsive interface when you searched through your music files, slow IVI boot up time when you started your car, corrupt or missing music and map files, bricked USB and SD cards, or worse – the IVI no longer booted.

Now enter our hidden hero – data storage management software – to handle and manage all these new IVI data needs and storage problems! In 2010, Tuxera’s file systems became available in selected IVIs. Back then, our solutions focused on making it easy to plug in your SD cards and USB sticks into the car’s entertainment system, and for data (such as music) to transfer freely between the storage devices and the car. We call this “interoperability.”

Since then, Tuxera’s interoperable file system implementations – Microsoft exFAT by Tuxera, Microsoft FAT by Tuxera, Tuxera HFS+, and Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera – have been built in to the IVI systems of over 150 million cars, covering all the major car makers around the globe. These file systems are working behind the scenes to make sure your music and media are always there when you want them, and your IVI interface feels fast and smooth even years later, helping you get the best out of your ride. What’s more, Tuxera’s own embedded file system, Reliance Nitro, and flash management software, FlashFX Tera, also began shipping in car infotainment systems to improve boot time and solve issues with degrading lifetime of IVI flash storage.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT

Read how we’ve helped some of our IVI supplier customers with their storage needs: Alpine, Desay, e.solutions, and Yura.


2020s and beyond: Proceed with caution – more IVI data challenges ahead

Car IVI touchscreen 2010s

Skipping ahead to the present and toward the future – the connected car must reliably handle, store, and process data from a variety of sources. Built-in apps stream real-time traffic data, music, and high-quality video. 3D navigation is gaining momentum, over-the-air updates bring new services and software features, in-vehicle stores are gaining traction, and a variety of sensors record data about the car and its surroundings.

All these applications running at once place heavy demands on the car’s flash-based storage. And at the same time the car is increasingly transforming into a very sophisticated supercomputer on wheels, processing massive amounts of data. The architecture inside the connected car is moving away from myriads of control units separately controlling each system, and instead toward centralized control units with shared internal storage housing all the needed data.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT

Want to know more about the automotive storage challenges that lay ahead as the need for data-driven applications grow? Check out our whitepaper: Challenges of Tomorrow’s Data Storage Integrity in Automotive and IOT Projects.

Final thoughts

Automakers and consumers expect that these internal systems will last for the lifetime of the car, from 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, these expectations are offset by the lifetime of flash memory, which is limited by the number of data write cycles. The inherent way that flash memory works requires erasing and rewriting significantly more memory blocks than is actually needed to write the new data. This unfortunate but expected wear-out of flash storage media is something we’re helping car makers and automotive suppliers tackle.

That’s why we have IVI embedded storage software that offers flash performance and lifetime optimizations including faster and more efficient data management operations. We also have very strong partnerships with leading automotive flash vendors, chipset makers, and software companies, which makes it possible for us to continually improve these optimizations. Automotive infotainment systems powered by our software are better equipped to keep up with consumer expectations: more apps, more sensors assisting the drive, and more streaming data – more of the things to make your ride a bit more fun.


Car makers and Tier-1 suppliers – find out how our data storage software makes automotive infotainment systems faster, more responsive, and more durable.

SEE TUXERA IVI STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Ora Security adopts Tuxera's NTFS file system implementation

Orca Security chooses Tuxera’s file system software for their enterprise multi-cloud security platform

Orca Security – Tuxera enterprise customersTuxera’s file system software helps cloud security innovation leader achieve exceptional performance in accessing files on cloud servers.

 

HELSINKI, Finland, April 13, 2021Tuxera, a world-leader in quality-assured storage management and networking software, announced that Orca Security, the cloud security innovation leader, has adopted Tuxera’s file system implementation as part of their cutting-edge cloud security platform. Orca Security provides cloud-wide, workload-deep security and compliance across multiple cloud platforms. Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera was adopted by Orca Security for its sustained and consistently high performance and proven use as in other enterprise storage applications.

Bringing visibility to security over multiple cloud servers

Orca Security provides workload-deep security – including VMs, containers, and serverless workloads – across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Orca Security’s patent-pending SideScanning™ technology is the only cloud security solution that identifies security risks without the use of agents, scanners, or any code running in the customer’s environment. Their platform brings complete visibility into the security of workloads and cloud configurations, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, and unsecured PII.

The company serves customers across a broad spectrum of industries including financial services, media and entertainment, CPG, manufacturing, cloud, mid-market, and enterprise customers across all geographic regions. Because their platform accesses data from multiple clients and multiple servers, rapid data handling and consistent performance is paramount in ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction. Additionally, any technologies integrated with the Orca Security platform must also have rigorous control over data integrity, thus ensuring data security.

High throughput essential in ensuring enterprise customer satisfaction

Initially, the Orca Security platform relied on an alternative NTFS file system implementation to read, mount, and create disk snapshots from NTFS volumes. For volumes created from snapshots, the storage blocks must be pulled down from the cloud provider and written to the volume before they are accessible. This preliminary action takes time and can cause a significant increase in the latency of I/O operations the first time each block is accessed. In fact, the first consecutive read operations performed on a block can be five to ten times slower. The optimal volume performance is achieved after all blocks have been downloaded and written to the volume.

With their original NTFS file system implementation, Orca experienced poor performance. The company then turned to Tuxera for storage management expertise, aiming to get better performance.

“At Orca, we use cloud disk snapshots and provide forensic-level visibility inside of every virtual machine. Crawling and storage optimizations available in Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera provide the speed we need to deliver customers a complete view of their multi-cloud estate in minutes,” says Gil Geron co-founder and chief product officer at Orca Security. “Tuxera’s expertise in high-performing, fail-safe file systems and enterprise-grade storage software help us achieve a competitive edge in the market.”

Tuxera’s software enables optimal speeds for enterprise workloads 

Using Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera, the platform was able to achieve up to three times faster performance on average, solving the Orca Security platform speed-performance issues to AWS servers. “We’re very excited to work with the innovation leader in cloud security. Orca Security has an outstanding reputation backed by numerous success stories,” says Heinrich von Keler, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Tuxera. “Tuxera is proud to be integrated into such an innovative platform, ensuring the highest possible performance between the block level and cloud servers.”

Multi-cloud enterprise services adoption rapidly growing

This customer case comes in context of the booming adoption of cloud services by businesses and enterprises around the globe. World-leading research company Gartner predicts that by 2024, 14.2% of global enterprise IT spending will be dedicated to cloud services. This trend is increasingly pointing towards adoption of a multi-cloud strategy. In Flexera’s 2020 State of The Cloud Report, 93% of companies reported using a multi-cloud strategy. This trend is compounded by some of the challenges companies have in adopting cloud services, with some 66% of companies identifying security as the biggest challenge for cloud adoption.

Orca Security chooses Tuxera's file system software

About Orca Security

Orca Security, the cloud security innovation leader, provides cloud-wide, workload-deep security and compliance for AWS, Azure, and GCP – without the gaps in coverage, alert fatigue, and operational costs of agents.

Unlike competing tools that operate in silos, Orca treats your cloud as an interconnected web of assets, prioritizing risk based on the severity of the underlying security issue combined with environmental context, including its accessibility and potential damage to the business. This does away with thousands of meaningless security alerts to provide just the critical few that matter, along with their precise path to remediation.

Find critical attack vectors before your adversaries without having to cobble together disparate tools for cloud security posture management, compliance assessments, and workload and data protection. Delivered as SaaS, Orca Security’s patent-pending SideScanning™ technology reads your cloud configuration and workloads’ runtime block storage out-of-band, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, and unsecured PII. SideScanning™ covers all your workloads – VMs, containers, and serverless.

Orca Security deploys in minutes – not months – because no code runs within your cloud environment. With Orca, there are no overlooked assets, no DevOps headaches, and no performance hits on live environments.

Connect your first cloud account in minutes and see for yourself. Visit https://orca.security

About Tuxera

Tuxera is the leading provider of quality-assured embedded storage management software and networking technologies. Helping people and businesses store and do more with their data, our software is at the core of phones, tablets, cars, TV sets, cameras, drones, external storage, routers, spacecraft, IoT devices, and more. We help you store your data reliably, while making file transfers fast and content easily accessible. Tuxera is also an active member of multiple industry organizations, including JEDEC, SNIA, AGL, SD Association, The Linux Foundation, and many others. Founded in 2008, Tuxera’s headquarters are located in Finland, with regional offices in China, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US.

Let us help solve your storage challenges. Learn more about us at www.tuxera.com

For more information, please contact:
VP Marketing, Tuxera
Tiffiny Rossi

References:

  1. Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-11-17-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-end-user-spending-to-grow-18-percent-in-2021
  2. Flexera 2020 State of The Cloud Report, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://info.flexera.com/SLO-CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud-2020
  3. Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud A Survey of Industry Influencers, LogicMonitor, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://www.logicmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/LogicMonitor-Cloud-2020-The-Future-of-the-Cloud.pdf

Embedded technology – Tuxera

2021 trends in embedded tech – data, AI, and vision tech abound

Embedded World 2021 revealed much about what’s shaping the embedded realm in general, and specifically industrial IoT systems design and development – with vision technology, AI, and data-driven applications leading the way.

Tuxera approached the Embedded World 2021 conference with a focus on reliability challenges faced by industrial IoT systems designers. While the convenience of moving from talk to talk in just a few clicks was handy, the real gems of the event were, of course, the fascinating topics covered at the conference. Some exciting trends that are heavily influencing the embedded realm now revolve around the booming adoption of vision technologies, as well as artificial intelligence in industrial applications. Read on as I go into a little more detail about these trends.

Vision technologies

One of the fascinating trends discussed in detail at the conference was around industrial vision systems. Machine vision is used, for example, to bring image-based, automated methods into industrial applications such as quality analysis and inspection activities, or for steering robots.

Machine vision is a sharply growing area of embedded technology. According to Research and Market, the industrial machine vision market is growing at a rate of 7.61% (CAGR) between 2017 and 2023. Companies are, of course, adopting these technologies for a competitive edge – but also for cost-savings and risk management measures. It goes without saying that these applications also involve a lot of real-time processing of data.

Artificial Intelligence

Another major talking point was artificial intelligence used in industrial applications – and that’s hardly surprising. According to Fortune Business Insights, AI in manufacturing market is projected to grow at a rate of 24.2% by 2027. AI is used to make automation more efficient and more precise, though it’s also used in, for example, predictive maintenance. Machine learning can be used to detect signals when equipment would start to wear and then “call in” for maintenance work before any operations are critically impacted. And – no surprise again – these applications also require real-time processing of data.

Data, everywhere

One thing on everyone’s lips was the amount of data being generated by embedded industrial use cases, mirroring the data-driven trend in pretty much every other sector in the world. An interesting topic that came up in one roundtable I attended was not around “making all the data”, but conversely, “reducing all the data”. And by that we mean techniques that can decrease the amount of data that would need to be processed, stored, or sent to the cloud. One such means includes using AI to focus on areas of data collection that are significant to the operation in question. Take – for example – facial recognition technology. This is one way to reduce data: if faces are the important data we need, then data capture should only focus on faces and immediate surroundings (and not say, the entire factory floor behind them).

Yet another topic we discussed in this data reduction round table was compression – both compressing the amount of data to be stored or processed, but also compressing it before sending to the cloud. I found that point significant when thinking of compression on a file system level, or also during network transfer – as with Fusion File Share by Tuxera (our advanced SMB file-sharing implementation).

Final thoughts

Along with the interesting trends in embedded industrial IoT, were the engaging talks and roundtables held by various companies. Many of the interesting and well attended ones involved several firms, along with customers, partners, and suppliers discussing specific topics in detail. However, nothing can truly replace the ability to wander the exhibition hall, see all the bling messages and screens and faces eager to tell you about their products. A fully digital Embedded World wasn’t perfect, though despite a few hiccups, we were happy to participate. And we definitely want to return to the exhibition and conference floor to learn more about embedded technology trends in 2022.


Hot off the presses: Tuxera’s Embedded World 2021 whitepaper – Keep device data safe with secure erase

If you attended Embedded World 2021, then you perhaps had the opportunity to hear Thom Denholm, our Technical Product Manager, talk about data sanitization techniques for embedded device data security. If you didn’t make it to his talk – no worries! Thom’s whitepaper, linked below, delves into more detail and complexity on his presentation topic. As a quick teaser of what this whitepaper is all about, here is the abstract:

Removing data securely from flash media is more challenging than older magnetic designs. The software and firmware must work in unison to provide secure solutions that are increasingly in demand. In this paper, we detail the secure interface from the application to the media and point out the possible pitfalls along the way.

Download Tuxera’s Embedded World 2021 whitepaper: Keep device data safe with secure erase

GET WHITEPAPER

Connected cars literally take us close to the edge

The connected car easily conjures up topics like 5G, V2X, and the cloud. It’s certainly enchanting – all the amazing services the cloud and high-speed wireless connectivity will bring to our cars in the coming years. But the down-to-earth reality is the mission-critical handling and processing of data will be done inside the car itself.

The noble edge may lack glamor, but certainly not relevance

Opposite of cloud computing, data processing and analysis that happens near where the data is collected is called “edge computing.” It’s hard to get people excited about edge computing – it’s just what we’re used to. Moreover, only a few years ago the jury was still out about the importance of edge computing in the IoT era. Today, its role is strong and clear, especially when it comes to the connected car. As venture capitalist Peter Levine explained to CIO Magazine, “the driverless car, whose 200-plus CPUs effectively make it a “data center on wheels,” is a prime example of an edge device whose computing capabilities must be self-contained.”

Levine further explained that an autonomous vehicle that relied too heavily on data from the cloud could run through stop signs and crash because of latency issues. And, as SanDisk’s Martin Booth reminds us, a connected car is not truly connected at all times, nor is the connection always optimal. While latency issues are expected to decrease over the coming years – especially with advancements in 5G technology – experts don’t feel it’s feasible to push all connected-car data to the cloud.

This point was driven home by Dan Gittleman, CEO of Xevo – a company specialized in data-driven automotive solutions. At his event talk, Gittleman said, “Think about it, there are hundreds of millions of cars and each car can have hundreds of sensors in there. It’s just not possible to get all this data to the cloud.” And, according to Gartner, “all this data” may have already reached over 280 million gigabytes annually.

Gittleman added that a lot of this data needs to be processed on the cars themselves – at the edge. There, the system can decide what data needs to be pushed to the cloud, what data needs to stay in the car for immediate action, and even what data can be tossed away entirely.

Connected cars need fast local storage solutions

On a whole, connected car data, and the business models emerging from it, could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030 according to a 2016 report from McKinsey&Company. This is a valuable commodity to preserve – which places greater focus on onboard data handling and storage solutions. According to SanDisk’s Martin Booth, advanced autonomous vehicles may soon need edge storage capacities of one terabyte or higher.

Advancements in flash memory technology allow us to record the massive amounts of data pouring into the connected car at very fast speeds. But that also requires ultra-fast data storage software that can reliably handle multitudes of simultaneous data streams. Together, the storage hardware and software work to preserve the integrity of all the valuable data moving through and stored inside the connected car.

Final thoughts

While all eyes are turned toward the cloud, the not-so-lofty reality is that local means of handling, processing, and storing data in connected cars are not losing relevance. Into the foreseeable future, technologies that support edge computing, including onboard sensors and edge storage solutions, are only going to play an increasing role. And for us at Tuxera, we’re happy to be right there – at the edge, close to the data.


Car makers and Tier-1 suppliers – see how we can make your edge data handling and storage faster and fail-safe.

TUXERA AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS

Tuxera – Will VR change the way we love?

Will VR change the way we love?

Once upon a time in 2016, I visited Nokia’s exhibit at Slush (Helsinki’s annual startup and tech event). At the booth, they showcased a music video that was filmed using their OZO VR camera. Although I had tried VR games, this music experience took me to a very different emotional place. The video placed you as a voyeur to a young couple falling in love. If you have a VR headset, you can watch the video featuring the music of OneRepublic here.

That experience left a lasting impression on me.

Standing close to the young couple, I found myself misty-eyed as their story unfolded around me. This immersive, emotional experience made me wonder – will VR change the way we love?

What the experts say about love and technology

At first thought, it’s easy to wander directly to the dystopian extreme of love and VR. That is, a person falls in love with an artificial intelligence, then never wants to leave the VR environment again. But as science and technology journalist, Jacob Ward, reminds us:

“Connecting to our own world and not to a made up one may be the real promise of virtual reality.”

Modern courtship is typically a “slow burn”

Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher assures us that technology is not changing the type of person you’ll love or how you’ll feel love. But Fisher does note that technology is making an impact on how we court, or how we meet and pursue others romantically.

Take matchmaking sites, for example. Fisher – who is also match.com’s science advisor – explains that people experience cognitive overload on these sites, simply because there are too many choices. And when that happens, they just can’t decide who is “Mr., Mrs., or Mx. Right” – at least not after a long processes of considering their options. Coupled with fears of divorce, what we’re seeing today is a new form of courtship Fisher calls “slow love.” The pre-commitment stage before marriage is now much longer than ever before, and technology in the form of websites, chats, social media, and dating apps has played at least some part in supporting this new model of courtship.

Love and VR

So what happens if we carry Fisher’s discussion about love and technology over into VR space? VR technology will probably make it easier to find people to love. It may even have the potential for weeding people out before you even make it to the “slow love” stage.

Going back to my experience at Slush 2016 – a company called Texel was offering full-body 3D scans as a booth giveaway. Here’s what mine looks looks like:

It’s not long before it’s commonplace on dating sites to upload such 3D-scans, then animate them through body hardware so you can “pre-meet” people in a virtual environment. Instead of exchanging messages and reading profile after profile, you could just specify to meet people with certain interests in a VR cafe – all while your physical body stays at home in your pajamas. Want to have your first date on Mars? Why not? Using your virtual avatar, you could meet others and talk over a steaming cup of virtual joe in Martian gravity. And if things work out, you could move on to meeting each other physically in real life. If not, well, your VR experience saved you the hassle of getting dressed up for a fancy dinner.

In fact, the 2017 show “Virtually Dating” was built around this very premise.

Final thoughts

Based on Fisher’s stance on love and technology, there’s no reason to suggest that VR will change how we feel love or even the type of person we will love. But it will change the way we meet, court, and share experiences with others. For all you lovebirds out there, take comfort in what Fisher has to say:

“…love and attachment will prevail, technology cannot change it.”


Did you know?

Tuxera has high-performance file system software precision-engineered to tackle the storage challenges associated with VR equipment. Take a closer look on our solutions pages!

Storage management for consumer electronics

Tuxera presenting at GENIVI AMM '20

Meet Tuxera virtually at the 20th edition of the GENIVI All-Members meeting (AMM) October 26–28, 2020!

 

The GENIVI Alliance steers the open, Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform. As a member of the GENIVI community, Tuxera is committed to addressing real-life challenges of the increasingly complex and connected vehicle.

For this year’s AMM, GENIVI will hold several sessions, including an industry-trend oriented program tackling issues like vehicle software complexity and maximizing the value of vehicle data. Speakers from Strategy Analytics, McKinsey, and a number of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers – including Tuxera – will be part of the market trends sessions.

Join us on Monday, October 26 from 12:30-12:50 pm EDT (16:30–16:50 UTC) for a talk you won’t want to miss out on. Our Technical Product Manager, Thom Denholm will be presenting the following talk:

Solving data storage challenges in the automotive projects of tomorrow

Historically, automotive IVIs were literally read only. Functionality has been defined by the developer at the very beginning, with no major changes over lifetime. Consequently, the number of write cycles for flash memory was a no-worry. Now, systems have become much more complex with ECUs consolidated into domain controllers and hosting multiple functions on one SOC. The introduction of Android makes cars look like mobile phones, but with a higher lifetime of 10-15 years. Together with OTA updates, this results in many more write cycles that might make the flash wear out before end of life of the car. Fragmentation is observed to have an impact on performance in mobile devices – and could simply break an automotive system. Issues like FCA’s endless loop update from 2018, or the Spotify bug from 2016 with writing 5 GB per hour to flash puts further risk on future systems. We describe those effects more in detail, and suggest measures to mitigate the risks.

Hope to see you there!


Find out more and register for the GENIVI AMM here. Even non-members can listen in!

REGISTER FREE

Tuxera – protectors of data integrity

59 Zettabytes and counting – why file systems matter more than ever before

Today we live in an age of data-driven everything – where every millisecond of data capture is important. By the end of 2020, Statista estimates global data generation will reach 59 Zettabytes (ZB). In a layperson’s context, to get that much data onto 32 GB SD cards, you would have to fill over 2 TRILLION cards!

This is exactly why data storage – and the software that manages it – matters. Tuxera’s storage software ships in billions of devices around the world – such as cars, mobile phones, TVs – even spaceships! We’re the go-to storage software choice for brands that put a lot of care into ensuring the best user experience and satisfaction.

In general, storage management software works invisibly for us as users – managing the flow of data as it streams between apps, the operating system, and the storage hardware itself. It’s pretty much forgotten behind the scenes.

That is...until it doesn’t work right.

Loss of precious moments – like photos of those important to you. Sluggish devices or loss of device functionality from fragmented and corrupted storage blocks. Data loss that could bring critical operations – like a space flight – to an insurmountably expensive (or worse, life-threatening) failure.

Poorly designed, poorly implemented, and poorly supported file systems, flash management, and file sharing software can be a root cause of all these problems.

These are challenges Tuxera aims to end.

That’s why we promise unparalleled failure recovery, so if an accident or power loss happens, your data is stored safe and sound – uncorrupted and accessible. It’s why we design our software to extend the finite lifetime of flash memory, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected storage burnout. And it’s why we always strive for the best performance, so that rapidly flowing streams of data from multiple sources are securely captured on the hardware.

But moreover, our entire team has an uncanny eagerness to share our expertise in storage development, devoting time and care to ensure our customers meet their requirements and targets.

Right now, it's very likely our software is working diligently inside a device near you. But you might not even know that, because it’s working at its best – ensuring your data is securely stored for the long haul, uncorrupted, exactly when you need it.

Without further ado – we hope you enjoy watching our new brand video, which tells how Tuxera fits into the age of data-driven everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMM0cjKuR5k


Preparing for tomorrow's data: Tuxera's 2020 vision for data storage at Embedded World

Tuxera tackles automotive data storage, NAND errors, SD card formatting, and predictive maintenance and IIoT at Embedded World 2020

They say hindsight is 20/20. But with Embedded World 2020 right around the corner, it's also the future of data storage. If you’re headed to Nuremberg for this year’s event, we’ve got some presentations and a panel on embedded data storage you don’t want to miss out on! Read on to see all of what we’ll have in store for you there.

How to avoid end of life from NAND correctable errors

Flash media is fabulous for most use cases, but heavy reads can cause correctable errors. Linux flash file systems actually shorten the life of the media when dealing with these errors. How does this change with multiple bits per cell, including recent QLC NAND? We'll cover both this problem and the impacts in detail, from flash file systems to SSDs and other NAND flash-based media.

Presenter: Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

Session: 5.1: Hardware I – Memory

Date/time: Tuesday, February 25, 10:30–11:00

We will publish this as a whitepaper shortly after Embedded World, so check back later!

Challenges of tomorrow's data storage integrity in Automotive and IOT projects

Historically, automotive control units were literally read only. Functionality has been defined by the developer at the very beginning, with no major changes over lifetime. The number of write cycles for flash memory was a no-worry. Now, systems have become much more complex with ECUs consolidated into domain controllers and hosting multiple functions on one SOC. The introduction of Android makes cars look like mobile phones, but with a higher lifetime of 10-15 years. Together with OTA updates, this results in many more write cycles that might make the flash wear out before end of life of the car. Fragmentation is observed to have an impact on performance in mobile devices – and could simply break an automotive system. Issues like FCA’s endless loop update from 2018, or the Spotify bug from 2016 with writing 5 GB per hour to flash puts further risk on future systems. We describe those effects more in detail, and suggest measures to mitigate the risks.

Presenter: Bernd Niedermeier, Head of Automotive Business Development

Session: 4.6: Functional Safety & Security VI – Securing IoT

Date/time: Thursday, February 27, 16:00–16:30

This whitepaper will also be published shortly after Embedded World, so check back later!

First-class formatting: Ensuring optimal performance, lifetime, and quality of SD cards with the SD Card Formatter

Formatting an SD or microSD card requires specific tools to ensure a smooth process, positive experience, and minimal data loss. The SD Card Formatter handles SD cards in accordance with standards defined by the SD Association (SDA). Find out how it works and the performance benefits gained by formatting your SD cards using this helpful tool, developed by file system engineers at Tuxera.

Presenter: Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

Location: SD Association booth – Hall 3A / 3A-634

Date/time: Every day during Embedded World at 11:30

Panel: Predictive Maintenance Using the IIoT

Industrial systems, manufacturing equipment, robotics, etc., need to be maintained. There’s no getting around that. Doing it on your own schedule, rather than at the most inopportune time can lead to costly delays. This panel will look at what’s need to implement predictive maintenance. We’ll be there to discuss how embedded storage plays a role in predictive maintenance.

Panelist: Kerri McConnell, GM for Americas (CEO of Datalight)

Location: Embedded Computing Design booth – Hall 5, booth 5-341

Date/time: Tuesday, February 25 at 3 PM

We’ll be giving away a raffle prize, so don’t miss out on this thought-provoking discussion!

Meet Tuxera at Embedded World 2020

If you can’t make it to any of our talks or panels, you can also stop by our booth in Hall 4, 4-532. We’ll be there to listen and learn about your challenges with storage longevity, data integrity, fail-safety, and storage performance in the era of data-driven embedded technologies. Come learn about file systems and flash storage management solutions there. Hope to see you in Nuremberg!


Let’s talk about solving your embedded data storage challenges at Embedded World

BOOK A MEETING

 


Tuxera at CES 2020

CES 2020 wrap-up: more data means more storage challenges

For our 8th year in a row, Tuxera headed out to Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronics Show). As in previous recent years, our focus there was looking at automotive technology and engaging our partners in meaningful discussions about their challenges in automotive edge storage. Here’s some of our observations and reflections from the show floor – which give you a different perspective beyond all the media hype surrounding the event.

Reliable storage software is needed now more than ever

Tuukka Ahoniemi, CEO, Tuxera 

“My takeaway was there’s a lot of place for file system technology to do good work. That said, there’s a lot of education to be done. People in the automotive industry especially are now waking up to all the challenges in handling and storing all this data coming into cars. There are a lot of specific workload requirements, and automotive companies are now starting to understand that they can’t just use what comes off the shelf or is available for free without knowing how to configure and set up and optimize for the type of data workloads they’re working with. They need our expertise now more than ever before, and we’re glad to be here to help.”

The pains of managing and storing data are felt across all industries

Heather Goring, Sales director – Americas

“It’s been interesting to see the shift in technologies at CES over the years. When I first started coming in the 90s, a lot of what you saw was truly embedded systems. Now we have robots on display that are scrubbing your windows and a lot of products coming from companies that I don’t necessarily see as technology companies.

Even though Tuxera was in the Automotive Grade Linux booth at CES, we not only talked to companies doing automotive projects, but also talked to a lot of different companies outside the industry: from energy, robotics, and farming, for example. All of them have storage challenges related to file systems, both with their internal flash memory and external storage. The conversations we had with them were amazing!”

Less hype, more realistic views toward autonomous driving

Bernd Niedermeir, Head of Automotive Business Development

“From the show perspective, the atmosphere felt a bit different this year. At least with autonomous driving, most companies seem to have their feet back on the ground again – because we’re finding out that it’s not all that easy to implement. It’s now very much about electro-mobility and connected cars. The messages we’re seeing from the floor feel a lot more realistic than in past years. Also, always interesting to experience the South Hall with it’s extremely diverse set up – you can have a Chinese A.I. based Level 4 Autonomous Driving Software Stack company on the left side and next to it there is a booth with massage seats for the living room. But maybe they connect well after all because with autonomous cars the passenger’s seat might become a differentiator as well. ;-)”

CES is still the tech event to attend!

Eva Rio, Head of User and Market Research

“This was my first time at CES. I was a bit dubious about the event as I kept hearing that in the past years it had started to decline. I personally felt this couldn’t be farther from the truth! I found the show to be really “down-to-earth.” I was able to have meaningful discussions and did not hear any buzzwords like the ones you often see in press releases. Every person I talked to was an expert in their field and spoke of their products with passion and expertise. I really appreciate that despite the hectic pace of the show, we were able to have face-time with our customers and partners. Also, as a tech enthusiast, I would never forget my first impression being on the floor, the chills of being surrounded by prototypes and unreleased products – from the concept cars of Mercedes, Sony, Ford to the foldable screens of Royole, the FBI and American Express booths – it’s just spectacular. CES is still the event to attend! It’s great for networking and learning regardless of what industry you’re in.”

No shortage of interest in automotive edge storage solutions

Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

“This was also my first CES, and pretty overwhelming. It sprawls over several buildings in Las Vegas, with shuttle, Uber, taxi, and foot traffic evident between them. CES had a much larger automotive presence than I expected. There was less of a focus on autonomous vehicles than at the TU-Automotive Detroit show seven months ago, but perhaps that is because of a different audience. With the exception of the AGL booth, there was also less focus on what happens under the hood. That said, the various sensors, cameras, and cool new tech will all need somewhere to store all that data, even for a short time. We also had a presence at the GENIVI reception and it was worth the price of the flight itself. People were coming up to me non-stop to talk about one of our many file systems. FlashFX was also the focus of a few conversations. After three straight hours of talking, I nearly lost my voice!”

Welcome to the age of data-driven, voice-assisted everything

Tiffiny Rossi, Head of Marketing

“I’m also a CES first-timer. One thing was very clear – we are now in the age of data-driven, voice-assisted EVERYTHING. And I mean anything and everything. I think the Amazon booth was the epitome of this trend, where we found baby formula canisters that had Alexa integration and could notify you if you’re running low on formula and order you new stock!

The car floor was some of the most dazzling marketing I have ever seen. Some companies like Nissan, Audi, and Ford brought actual car models they were about to release. Although I do have to admit, it felt like many of the car companies are playing catchup to deliver what Tesla already has driving out on the roads. Hyundai Mobis was showing their truly futuristic-looking M Vision S. And the Hyundai-Uber helicopter really made waves at the event – though I have trouble calling it a “flying car.” From the product demos, it appeared to be a solution to take over long-distance intra-state car rides and short-haul flights now made by jetliners. It was also coupled with a little transportation “pod” that could take you from your home to a flight depot. I think the “Hyundai-Uber-copter” was really the thing to see this CES!”

CES 2020 automotive technology walkthrough from Tuxera on YouTube.