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Innodisk Covers RAM With Protective Conformal Coating

Innodisk has started coating a number of its RAM modules with conformal coatings, which sounds odd, but can actually be for a good reason.

A conformal coating is, in this case, coating the memory modules with a 0.03 to 0.13 mm thick protective layer that will protect the hardware below it from harsh environments. These can include, but are not limited to humidity, moisture, chemicals (not all, of course), and dust.

In the past, we've seen motherboard manufacturers coat select motherboards with a conformal coating, though that was mainly to protect the hardware from condensed water when using liquid nitrogen as a cooling agent.

The coatings are applied with materials obtained from HumiSeal.

There was no clear word on what units are covered because Innodisk is taking customer orders, where the customer can opt for a particular memory module to be covered. Innodisk did not give any indication on the pricing.

  • sc14s
    Sounds they are trying to create a market for something nobody wants or needs.We've all survived well without such a coating for decades, and suddenly now its needed? Please!
    obviously there is some sort of demand if they are making it.
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    Toughbook laptops use something like this I think. Electronic bells on locomotives have it (Graham White 373 E-bell). Etc
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    I have to say when I read the title I thought "Innodisk dips memory sticks in clear goop, charges huge premium." But they are a little more than that, in truth. It would be useful for extreme overclockers, and car systems, for starters.
    Reply
  • sc14s
    12733602 said:
    I have to say when I read the title I thought "Innodisk dips memory sticks in clear goop, charges huge premium." But they are a little more than that, in truth. It would be useful for extreme overclockers, and car systems, for starters.

    Car systems.. yeah I never even thought of that. That could be a huge potential market if 'smart' cars take off.
    Reply
  • benage
    Conformal coating is nothing new and has been used on industrial components for years. What I think is pointless is the fact that modular memory must be inserted into a contact-based socket, so at that point the bare contacts are exposed to the atmosphere...hmm seems like a waste of time
    Reply
  • chaz_music
    As an engineer, I have been using coatings for years for high reliability designs and all parts of a PC would benefit greatly from this. The process is expensive due to environmental requirements, but it adds a huge increase in reliability - if done right. Obviously, you can't coat the connectors, so they are still a weak point. But the tiny SMT solder joints are highly suspect to corrosion, and the are internal metal ion migration defects called CAF defects that are caused by humidity. Moisture also causes surface dendrite growth which ends up shorting over time. Also, all silicon based semiconductors are hydroscopic and are damaged by exposure to moisture, so the sudden component failure after a long usage life can easily be attributed to that. Such as a sudden CPU failure or memory failure. Has happened to me several time in the past. That last hidden benefit is the coatings also give a little bit of ESD survival from the uneducated who install the memory without using an ESD strap. Huge problem in general. ESD is very real and can be attributed to nearly 40% of ALL electronic failures. Read Newegg reviews about people getting parts DOA. They weren't DOA - they zapped them when they touched them taking the parts out of their package. This includes CPUs, motherboards, RAM, HDDs and SSDs, and even some cheap USB drives - which should be ESD hardened but are often not. All very real and not visibly important to those not-in-the-know, but they actually are.
    Reply
  • grebgonebad
    Can't see the real world application for regular PC users unless they live in a humid environment or are extreme overclockers, but simply being offered the choice is a step up in my book. Remember guys, it may only be something small, but the light bulb changed the world. =)
    Reply
  • gadgety
    So I guess this would improve chances if water cooling loop leaks? Question is, where can I get this treatment for a motherboard I already have?
    Reply
  • grebgonebad
    12751405 said:
    So I guess this would improve chances if water cooling loop leaks? Question is, where can I get this treatment for a motherboard I already have?

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it would protect your hardware against a full on leak, but it would offer great protection against high levels of moisture, such as that from liquid nitrogen cooling as mentioned in the original post.
    Reply
  • gadgety
    So I guess this would improve chances if water cooling loop leaks? Question is, where can I get this treatment for a motherboard I already have?
    Reply