Blog

Why we work with every manufacturer – So our customers don’t have to

One of the issues I’ve been reflecting on as we’ve developed this new website is how we’ve changed as a business since I set up Cardwave in my dining room more than 16 years ago.

While we’ve refreshed our brand several times, one thing hasn’t changed: our mission, which is to help businesses find the right flash memory product for their application, whatever that might be.

The memory market has transformed beyond all recognition over that time. Manufacturers have constantly pushed the boundaries, developing new technologies to meet the demand for ever smaller devices, faster performance and increased longevity. Who would have expected that storage cells could be stacked to create 3D NAND products, or that SD cards from high-street brands would today be able to hold 1TB of data (that’s around 25 hours of 4k video). The market needs these advances.

This rapidly changing market has created an even greater need for our expertise. Memory is not all created equal, and different applications have very different needs (which I’ll explore in more detail in future blogs). What’s perfect for a car satnav, for example, may not meet the very different demands of a medical device, or an IoT application.

Design engineers and procurement specialists simply don’t have the time to liaise with all the memory manufacturers, wade through pages of performance data and interpret complex specifications every time they develop a new product. But choosing the wrong memory could have serious consequences for performance and durability. So our role is to be a bridge between the two.

We have direct relationships with all the key memory OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). This means our customers can be confident that we’re sourcing original product, and there’s no organisation in the middle to add a margin on the prices. Because we’re totally independent, customers can trust us to provide impartial advice: our role is to find them exactly what they need, not to sell a particular product. We’ve built our reputation and our business on independence and integrity, and they remain key to everything we do.

We start by finding out exactly what the memory will be used for, considering everything from operating conditions to anticipated lifespan. Will it be used for a one-time upgrade or need to function for many years in a mission critical role?

Memory performance mainly depends on the quality of the controller and firmware, which influence read and write speed, durability and longevity. Generally we can identify a suitable product that already exists, but where needed we work with manufacturers to ensure a customer’s requirements are incorporated into the manufacturing process. Once we’ve sourced the memory, we configure it, obtain and check our customer’s master data, then duplicate it, check for accuracy and integrity and ship the resulting products around the world.

Every single item we supply is fully tested and tracked at every stage. This is increasingly vital as organisations realise the need for a trusted supply chain to reduce risk, particularly for embedded devices. We capture all the critical data and provide automated or tailored reporting by serial number, so our customers can be confident that they can track their memory at every stage, from manufacture to delivery.

We’re proud of our independence and integrity, and it’s key to everything we do. It ensures our customers have all the information they need to make an informed decision and, ultimately, get the optimum product for their needs, every single time.

Author: Paul Norbury – Chief Executive
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2020