September, 2018 – Swissbit S-450 SD memory card survives high-temperature bake

Extreme out of spec test proves temperature robustness of Swissbits SLC SD memory cards


Hitwell Deep Well Imaging, Inc, a US-based manufacturer of high-temperature cameras for deep well imaging has tested a Swissbit SD memory card at 325°F (165°C) to check for usability in its new drill hole inspection camera system





Hitwell Deep Well Imaging produces high-temperature, high-pressure cameras for oil, gas, and geothermal wells. The cameras can get as hot as 400°F/204°C. Previous recording took place outside the well where the requirements for storage were less demanding. With a new project the recording of higher resolution images on the SD memory card now occurs right down at he camera head. The camera shuts down after taking the images, but then remains downhole for extended time. Although the camera protects its electronics with a vacuum flask which slows down the flow of heat, the SD memory card remains exposed to high temperatures up to 165°C for as much as 60 hours. Data loss of the card should be as minimal possible. After retrievel of the data, the card is finally disposed of.


In order to simulate the conditions and to test the robustness of the storage device, the engineers at Hitwell filled the 32GB S-450 from Swissbit with pseudo-random data up to full capacity, and then baked the card for more than 60 hours at 325°F (165°C). The SD memory card is specified from -40°C to 85°C and offer excellent retention thanks to SLC NAND and high bit error correction. After cooling the device, it looked normal except for minor deformation of the shell. Inserted into a reader it was recognized as a drive without fail, and all of the original data remained fully intact.


Although the tested temperature range is well outside of the card’s standard specification, the results prove the impressive robustness and data retention of the Swissbit SD memory card. Due to the full molding of the inlay of the card, the external deformation of the shell does not affect the inner structure of the card.


SD Card after test_Front SD Card after test_Back


Picture of the SD card after successfully withstanding more than 60 hour exposure to 325°F (165°C)