Marking a new high in microSD card capacities, Western Digital has started shipping its flagship SanDisk Extreme 1 TB microSDXC card. This is the company's (and industry's) first 1 TB microSD card, and while the $450 launch price is definitely steep, for portable devices that need a massive amount of storage in a thumbnail-sized removable card, a full terabyte is the biggest step up yet.

When it comes to performance, the memory card is thankfully a member of SanDisk's higher-performing Extreme line, so performance isn't too pokey for reading and writing a full TB out of the drive. Formally, SanDisk rates it for read speeds up to 90 MB/s and write speeds up to 60 MB/s when working over a standard UHS-I interface. This works out to roughly 3 hours and 4.6 hours to read and fill the card, respectively. In fact at this point SanDisk is outright bottlenecked by the UHS bus; the card can actually read at 160 MB/s and write at 90 MB/s when used with proprietary hosts that support DDR transfer modes. So microSD Express and its vastly higher transfer rates can't get here soon enough.

Along with its advertised peak performance, SanDisk's supersized card supports video speed class 30, which among other things means that its minimum write speeds need to be at least 30 MB/s. The card also meets the requirements for the A2 app performance class, meaning that it can sustain at least 4000 random read IOPS and 2000 random write IOPS, and supports capabilities such as command queuing and caching.

Unfortunately for tech enthusiasts, SanDisk isn't saying much about the 1 TB card under the hood. Given the capacity, the card is likely based on the company’s latest 96-layer TLC or QLC 3D NAND memory. But short of tearing it apart, this is hard to confirm.

For the moment the new 1 TB microSD card is available directly from Western Digital for $449.99. But eventually the product will hit regular retail stores too.

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Source: SanDisk (via Tom’s Guide)

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  • Valantar - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    They should start rating these giant cards with "time to fill at sustained write" and "time to empty at sustained read" labels. Also, why isn't this UHS-II? I get that not much real-world equipment supports the standard, but it does exist ... Reply
  • Skeptical123 - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Are there UHS-|| microSD cards? "Also, why isn't this UHS-II?" because "SanDisk is outright bottlenecked by the UHS bus". The UHS bus is the interface on the NAND itself. So it would not matter if you had chip connected to a faster port say thunderbolt 3 port because that's not where the speed limit is. Reply
  • wrkingclass_hero - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    How many total drive writes would you wager this would last before failure? Reply
  • deil - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    15? in real loads where you don't fill all and delete, fill again without load leveling it would be insanely low. Reply
  • porcupineLTD - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    If it's TLC it should be able to handle a few hundred TDW. Reply
  • 29a - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Why do you think they wouldn't do some sort of wear leveling? Reply
  • npz - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    wear leveling matters when you don't use the entire drive but are rewriting/updating only portions of it. If you're continuously writing almost the whole drive like in a video application (fill, copy out, re-fill, and so on) then it doesn't matter. Reply
  • 29a - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Wouldn't that apply to any size card? Reply
  • 29a - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Wouldn't that apply to any size card based on the same NAND type? Reply
  • baka_toroi - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Isn't SDXC's size limit 2 TB? What will come after it? Reply

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