Letter of Volatility

Memory Volatility Report

Dear Customer,
We would like to thank you for choosing NCD products. NCD devices make extensive use of embedded microprocessors in order to perform their intended functions. Like all microprocessors, memory is required for the microprocessor to function properly. Here are a few facts about how NCD devices utilize memory:

NCD Relay Controller and Sensor Products

  • NCD Relay Controller and Sensor Microprocessors typically use less than 128K of Flash memory and less than 128K of Static Ram, and less than 128K of EEPROM used to hold our custom firmware. Erasing this flash memory requires the use of special equipment that is not commonly available to consumers. In many products, the equipment is ONLY manufactured by NCD to facilitate in-circuit programming. This equipment is NOT made available to the consumer market.
  • FLASH memory is used to store NCD Intellectual Property. This memory cannot be erased without destroying the device.
  • Static Memory stores variables, necessary for NCD Intellectual Property to function. This memory is erased by removing power from the device.
  • EEPROM memory is used to store user-parameters, and is NOT directly accessible by the user. This memory is non-volatile, and usually only contains numeric values, required for NCD microprocessors to function.
  • It is not possible for NCD Relay Control and Sensor Microprocessors to store personal or sensitive data of any kind.  Unlike hard drives or other forms of non-volatile media, the memory used in NCD Relay Controller Microprocessors is NOT user-accessible.
  • It is not possible for users to access files or other security sensitive data. It is not possible to store files or other security sensitive documents within these devices.
  • The memory utilized in NCD devices is used for the sole purpose of allowing our microprocessor to function properly.
  • Extraction of data in static RAM, EEPROM, and/or Program FLASH Memory cannot be reconstructed and utilized for malicious purposes. The resulting files would be meaningless. FLASH memory is protected from extraction to prevent copying of NCD intellectual property. Attempting to extract protected data usually results in the device sending the user a long series of zeroes, indicating the memory is not accessible.
  • NCD products do not fall under the category of “Data Storage Devices” in any way.
  • NCD does support special functions that allow certain parameters to be cleared to factory default settings, these features are extensively descried in the NCD product manuals where applicable. Clearing to factory default settings does not mean the memory has been reset to a blank condition.

Communications Modules

This section is in reference to NCD Ethernet, USB, RS-485, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Wireless communications Modules, including 900MHz, 868MHz, and 2.4GHz.

  • Some NCD devices make use of 3rd party products that may contain memory that functions in a similar way to NCD Relay Control and Sensor microprocessors. These devices may contain multiple microprocessors, and may contain more than 128K of EEPROM, FLASH, and Static Memory.
  • These devices inherit the same characteristics of NCD Relay Controllers and Sensor Products.
  • These devices may make use of 3rd party software to reset back to factory default condition.
  • Select network connected devices may make use of an embedded web page for setting device parameters and restoring to factory default settings.
  • These devices cannot be used to store sensitive information and are not categorized as “Data Storage Devices”

NCD IoT Edge Computer

The NCD IoT Edge Computer is the only product capable of storing files in a user-accessible way.  These devices run open source software under an embedded Linux environment.  Memory must be cleared using Linux commands.  This process is outside the scope of this document.  Please contact us if your application requires complete disclosure of Memory Usage of the NCD IoT Edge Computer prior to purchase.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.


Ryan Sheldon
National Control Devices
Hardware Design Team