Micron introduced the world’s highest capacity equipment microSD cardthe i400, with storage of up to 1.5 TB, 50% more than the former champion, the C200.
The semiconductor giant achieved this capability using its 176-layer 3D NAND technology (similar to that used in SSDs) and will target the enterprise market, especially anything having to do with video storage at the edge. In other words, don’t expect the card to be cheap or easy to get, especially since it’s designed to withstand five years of high-quality 24×7 continuous recording and a whopping two million hours MTBF.
No details have been provided on its performance, but this is clearly an industrial-grade product – unlike the C200 – which means recording and endurance are likely to be at the top of the spectrum. The C200 used 96-layer 3D NAND technology and the i400 (also available in capacities as small as 64GB) will likely have some extra wear-leveling capability.
Review: What’s Next for the microSD?
The date, power of silicon, Lexar, Sandisk, team group and PNY all released 1TB microSD, with Kingston and Samsung quietly remaining on the sidelines.
For most use cases, cloud storage, cheap bandwidth and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity have made high-capacity, high-performance local storage a thing of the past. This is one reason why most high-end smartphones no longer offer removable storage.
So will others follow in Micron’s footsteps with microSD cards larger than 1TB? Possibly, but they won’t be cheap in a shrinking market.
One feature that didn’t make it to the i400 is SD Express, the high-speed technology that can increase data transfers to 4 GBps. The problem is that it is often a chicken and egg scenario where compatible readers/devices are not readily available to justify a significant increase in component cost.