May 20, 2024

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SD cards are finally expected to reach 4TB capacities in 2025

SD cards are finally expected to reach 4TB capacities in 2025

Zoom in / Generic and non-Western digital SD cards.

Western Digital plans to release its first 4TB SD card next year. On Thursday, the storage company announced plans to demo the product in person next week.

Western Digital will launch the SD card, which follows the SD Association's Ultra Secure Digital Capacity (SDUC) standard, under its SanDisk brand and market it toward “complex media and entertainment workflows,” such as high-definition video with high frame rates, using cameras. Laptops, the ad said.

The wide card will use the Ultra High Speed-1 (UHS-1) bus interface, supporting maximum theoretical transfer rates of up to 104MB/s. It will support minimum write speeds of 10MB/s, Anand Tech mentioned. Minimum sequential write speeds are expected to reach 30MB/s, the post said.

With these specifications, the upcoming SD card should be able to accommodate storage-hungry video formats, including 8K, although the card won't be fast enough to support raw 8K video recording. That helps explain why Western Digital initially previewed the show at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual event for broadcast and media professionals, which begins tomorrow in Las Vegas.

“Attendees will get a preview of the full capacity of the 4TB SD card and learn more about how to expand the creative capabilities of cameras and laptops,” Western Digital said.

Hopefully, Western Digital will provide more information about the SD card at the event, as this week's announcement didn't go into further details, such as what type of NAND the card will use or whether it will support SanDisk's DDR200/DDR208 mode, which can enable faster speeds. Higher data transfer up to 170MB/s (but only with a host that supports this mode).

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Western Digital didn't mention how much the SD card will cost, but with its advanced capabilities and target audience of professional creators, the offering will likely have premium pricing. The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I 1TB Card currently has an MSRP of $140.

WD's announcement comes six years after the SD Association, which writes SD standards, announced the SDUC standard, which raised the maximum possible capacity of SD cards from 2TB to 128TB. As with many releases of new standards, some were eager to believe that “SD cards may soon have 128TB of storage spaceBut with 4TB not expected to arrive until 2025 (assuming there are no delays), “soon” is, even today, unrealistic. The 2018 standard only made such capacities possible. At the time, the maximum theoretical capacities of an SD card were The card capacity was 2TB for about nine years, but the largest SD cards available for purchase at the time were 512GB.

Today, the largest capacity SD cards available are 1TB (Western Digital also this week announced plans to release a 2TB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I memory card at an unspecified date), while only 2TB microSD cards are becoming available. this year.

With Western Digital's announcement, the industry is approaching the full potential of SD cards. For professionals with high storage needs, this is exciting news, as having more capable technology opens up more possibilities, such as working with high-resolution media.

However, Western Digital's announcement also comes at a time when SanDisk's reputation for reliable storage is being seriously questioned by professional and legacy customers. There are many lawsuits about SanDisk Extreme portable SSD drives failing unexpectedly. These alleged failures, combined with frustration over Western Digital's limited response to reported data losses, could make professionals with business-critical storage needs consider waiting for another brand to make the jump to 4TB.

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