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SanDisk Crams 128GB on microSD Card: A World First

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

SanDisk launched a microSD card with a 128 GB capacity.

This week during Mobile World Congress 2014, SanDisk introduced the world's highest capacity microSDXC memory card, weighing a hefty 128 GB. That's a huge leap in storage compared to the 128 MB microSD card launched 10 years ago.

"The new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card again demonstrates how SanDisk continues to expand the possibilities of storage so that consumers can benefit from our latest technology advancements," said Susan Park, director, retail product marketing, SanDisk.

The company reports that the high capacity is possible on such a small form factor thanks to an "innovative" proprietary technique that allows for 16 memory die to be vertically stacked. Each one is also shaved to be thinner than a strand of hair.

"With 128 GB of removable storage, consumers will enjoy the freedom to capture and save whatever they want on a smartphone or tablet, without worrying about running out of storage space," added Park.

Of course, you'll need a device that supports capacities of this size. Smartphones and tablets, the major audience for this card, typically support cards of 64 GB or less. SanDisk provides these as well, offering 64 GB, 32 GB, 16 GB and 8 GB, with a starting price of $29.99. Read speeds are up to 30 MB/s.

The product notes show that the card provides Class 10 performance for recording Full HD video. The card is also waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray-proof, magnet-proof, shockproof, and comes with an SD adapter for digital camera compatibility.

In addition to launching the new 128 GB card, SanDisk also unleashed a new version of its Memory Zone app for Android. This app allows users to easily view, access, and backup their files from the device's internal storage. Memory Zone also has a new feature called OptiMem, which automatically sends old photos and videos to the memory card.

The new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card is available now exclusively at Best Buy and Amazon, costing $199.99 USD. For more information about the new 128 GB card, head here.

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  • 9 Hide
    Mp3zer , February 25, 2014 1:09 PM
    *snap oops there goes my 100$ micro sd card
  • 0 Hide
    BranFlake5 , February 25, 2014 2:03 PM
    10 Years ago we had 128MB on a micro SD card, today we have 128GB, in ten years will we have 128 TB? That is like 1000x bigger. Technology is growing ridiculously quick now. Imagine those old 3MB harddrives that filled a room. Now we can have millions of those in the palm of our hands. I also see this going one of two ways...1. Smart Phone manufacturers include Sd-slots and Android gets a huge storage leap (Assuming Android supports enormous cards to come)2.More likely, they increase internal capacity.
  • -1 Hide
    soldier44 , February 25, 2014 2:21 PM
    This is nice and all but I don't know of any current device that would support this card, only 64gb and below...
  • 1 Hide
    The Greater Good , February 25, 2014 2:45 PM
    Quote:
    This is nice and all but I don't know of any current device that would support this card, only 64gb and below...
    The Galaxy S4 supports this 128 GB card.
  • 2 Hide
    dgingeri , February 25, 2014 3:21 PM
    We won't be able to get 128TB microSD cards in ten years. The last ten years, flash memory technology was trying to catch up to other integrated circuit manufacturing, and it caught up quickly, but now it's dead even, so it is not likely to go up nearly as fast. In addition, the newer manufacturing processes are making flash memory less reliable and less durable. So, we're going to have to find ways around it or it will become write once memory in about 5 years. I doubt we'll have 2TB MicroSD cards in ten years, let alone 128TB. We'll probably have something physically slightly bigger, but an entirely different format and design, in order to reach 128TB. Perhaps we'll have some sort of phase change memory or a solid optical storage medium in ten years that could store 128TB.
  • 1 Hide
    10tacle , February 25, 2014 5:38 PM
    Quote:
    We won't be able to get 128TB microSD cards in ten years. We'll probably have something physically slightly bigger, but an entirely different format and design, in order to reach 128TB...Perhaps we'll have some sort of phase change memory or a solid optical storage medium in ten years that could store 128TB.


    ^^What he said. We are eventually going to reach diminishing returns in the manufacturing die and capabilities of current design in flash memory. There will be a finite limit to how much smaller memory cells can get with higher capacity. It's not a question of fabrication technology but instead physics. We will need an entirely new form of data storage to get 128TB on something as small as a microSD. At least as we currently understand it anyway. Some visionaries are talking about going to light and crystals in a few decades to really step the game up.
  • 0 Hide
    K2N hater , February 25, 2014 6:07 PM
    Quote:
    This is nice and all but I don't know of any current device that would support this card, only 64gb and below...

    Several smartphones already do but it's undocumented due to lack of validation. In practise it should work fine with any high-end Android (cheaper Androids seem to have trouble even with 64GB), WP8 and even Symbian.
  • -3 Hide
    rpmrush , February 25, 2014 6:11 PM
    So high end high capacity and still can't best an old Sony Pro Duo format that easily hits 45 MB/s over usb 2.0. I hate Sony's formats. I had a camera that had the option of SD or the Pro Duo, but SD card makers want to bend you over for a Class yada yada card that rarely reaches it's stated class (10-12MB/s on high end) but a standard Pro Duo will transfer faster than a hard drive over USB 2.0 so it won.
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , February 25, 2014 6:20 PM
    Why are SSD drives not increasing storage at this same level and low price? Is speed the reason?
  • 0 Hide
    makaveli316 , February 26, 2014 3:48 AM
    Too bad there isn´t a single device that supports 128gb...
  • 2 Hide
    Jaroslav Jandek , February 26, 2014 5:00 AM
    Quote:
    10 Years ago we had 128MB on a micro SD card, today we have 128GB, in ten years will we have 128 TB?
    Probably not. It took SSDs over 30 years to really take off.
    Current NAND gates are based on plain old electricity and relatively big components (2 transistors separated by a metal-oxide layer). We are reaching scales where even at very low voltage levels, electron leakage occurs (same goes for CPUs) - in layman's terms, an electron can jump to another conductor - the higher the voltage, the farther the electron can jump. That is why we're trying to lower the voltage, BUT whether a certain bit gate returns 1 or 0 depends on the threshold voltage, which we have to measure and as you lower the voltage, it gets harder.

    Luckily, there are different methods of data storage using spintronics or nanoplasmonics (quantum memory), that will allow much higher memory densities and even smaller devices - by this time, regular HDDs might be replaced by holographic "discs" (basically a 3D HDD) with exabyte capacities. But as soon as these technologies become commercial, we'll probably see the same rapid improvements as with current SSDs.

    @dgingeri: while phase change memory does have much better performance and durability, it doesn't allow much higher memory densities than flash (they are heat-based) + they are harder to scale below 45nm than flash.
  • 0 Hide
    tcb1005 , February 26, 2014 5:09 AM
    Quote:
    10 Years ago we had 128MB on a micro SD card, today we have 128GB, in ten years will we have 128 TB? That is like 1000x bigger. Technology is growing ridiculously quick now. Imagine those old 3MB harddrives that filled a room. Now we can have millions of those in the palm of our hands. I also see this going one of two ways...1. Smart Phone manufacturers include Sd-slots and Android gets a huge storage leap (Assuming Android supports enormous cards to come)2.More likely, they increase internal capacity.


    Nah improvement is slowing. Look at X86 CPUs, now they only advance 10-15% per year.
  • 0 Hide
    BranFlake5 , March 14, 2014 9:12 PM
    Thanks to everyone for informing me. I asked my friend who's an engineering major. He explained that there is a maximum hypothetical value to certain components. He also mentioned that silicon is creeping closer and closer to becoming obsolete because manufacturing will max out its potential.

    But thank all you guys for informing me. I love this website because the community is great because of informed readers like you guys. I learn new things everyday.