The World’s First 2TB microSD Cards are on the Way
MicroSD card storage and data storage technology in general are advancing all the time, so large space volumes aren’t much of a surprise, except when they truly breach major barriers.
This is definitely going to be the case (at least for a while) with the latest planned development from Japanese computer memory manufacturer Kioxia.
The company has announced the pending arrival of microSD storage cards that can manage a whopping 2TB of internal storage. So far, the cards are just “working prototypes” but a consumer market release apparently isn’t far off.
It’s worth noting here that 2 terabytes, or 2000 gigabytes, is the supposed highest physically possible capacity for microSD technology according to data from the SD Association.
According to Kioxia, the system they’re using to develop the new cards relies on a highly “innovative” BiCS FLASH 3D memory architecture and proprietary controller mechanism that combine together to effectively deliver the 2TB storage in this format.
So far, no other manufacturer on the market has reached this level of storage with microSD technology. Again, 2TB is in fact considered the maximum physically possible density of memory that the medium is capable of.
Kioxia has however claimed that it successfully met the SD Associations density threshold by using ambiguously termed “proprietary manufacturing technology” through which the cards are assembled.
This new technology basically stacks sixteen one-terabit 3D flash memory dies to a maximum thickness of 0.8mm in the die mounting area to achieve the storage space of these prototypes.
Kioxia has also claimed the obvious by stating that the enormous storage capacity of these microSD cards makes them useful for uses in which… lots of storage capacity is needed.
This does indeed mean many potentially powerful uses for devices such as smartphones, compact portable game consoles, and of course, compact cameras of all kinds.
The new prototype cards will also be very useful in non-creative, non-recreational uses that might include security recording needs in which direct video transfer to remote servers isn’t possible.
Currently, the limits of microSD technology available on the consumer market extend no further than 1.5TB with cards made by Micron.
This 1.5 TB space lets users save up to 120 days of video footage shot in lower resolutions such as HD or 720p. This is particularly useful for people who want to just record videos or shoot photos without swapping out their media continuously.
Other storage media technologies are however already beating out even the theoretical best from microSD tech.
Specifically, CFexpress storage technology, which brands like Lexar, Delkin, ProGrade Digital, and more recently, Sony, have been producing for the consumer market, can store up to 2TB in its Type B form. This however comes in cards that are twice the physical size of their microSD counterparts.
However, CFexpress Type A storage, which is physically the same size as microSD, is also gaining ground; Sony recently announced an upcoming release of a new Type A card with 640GB capacities for $1,249. These are now even available for preorder.
What’s more, planned, near-future developments in CFexpress storage are also already referring to the possibility of storing hundreds of terabytes (that’s right, terabytes) in individual cards. This is far beyond the limit of what microSD is even capable of with any current technology.
For now, we’re still impressed by Kioxia’s achievement and looking forward to seeing when these cards come out and what they cost.