SD cards are expected to finally reach 4TB in 2025

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

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

Western Digital will introduce an SD card that uses the SD Association's Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) standard under its SanDisk brand and will be marketed for “complex media and entertainment workflows” such as high-resolution video using cameras. and laptops as per the notification.

The spacious card uses an Ultra High Speed-1 (UHS-1) bus interface that supports maximum theoretical transfer rates of up to 104 MB per second. It supports a minimum write speed of 10 MB/s, Anandtech reported. Minimum continuous write speeds are expected to reach 30 MB/s, the release said.

With those specs, the upcoming SD card will be able to fit storage-hungry video formats, including 8K, although the card won't be fast enough to support 8K video recording. That helps explain why Western Digital is previewing the opportunity early at the National Broadcasters' Annual Event for broadcast and media professionals, which begins tomorrow in Las Vegas.

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

Hopefully Western Digital will provide more information about the SD card at the event, as this week's announcement did not go into further details such as the type of NAND card it uses or whether it will support DDR200/DDR208 developed by SanDisk. mode, which enables higher data transfer speeds of up to 170 MB/s (but only with a host that supports that mode).

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Western Digital hasn't said what the SD card will cost, but given its advanced capabilities and target audience of professional creators, the offering will carry a premium price. The 1TB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I 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 capacity for SD cards from 2TB to 128TB. As with many releases of new standards, few were eager to believe “SD cards will soon hold up to 128TB of storage.” But 4TB isn't expected to arrive until 2025 (assuming no delays), and “soon” is unrealistic, even today. The 2018 standard only made such capacities possible. At the time, the maximum theoretical capacity card for SD was 2TB for about nine years, but at that time The most capacious SD cards to buy are 512GB.

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

With Western Digital's announcement, the industry is approaching the maximum capacity of SD cards. For professionals with high storage needs, this is exciting news as the high-capacity technology opens up additional possibilities for working with high-res media.

However, Western Digital's announcement has put SanDisk's reputation for reliable storage into serious question by both professional and long-term customers. There have been several reported cases of SanDisk Extreme portable SSDs failing unexpectedly. These alleged failures, combined with frustration surrounding Western Digital's limited response to reported data losses, may mean that professionals with critical storage needs at work may wait until another brand steps up to 4TB.

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