back to article Need a 1TB microSD for your smartmobe? Come April, you can free up storage space in your wallet and buy one

Micron and WD's SanDisk both dropped the veil on massive memory cards for your mobile at Barcelona's phone confab this morning: specifically, the little beggars are stuffed with a terabyte of storage. The Idaho storage firm said its c200 1TB microSDXC UHS-I card will be on the market in the "second quarter" – it's only …

  1. ukgnome

    Now you can lose all you data in one easy to swallow wafer.

    1. charlieboywoof
      Mushroom

      eggs in baskets etc.

    2. David Shaw

      or accidentally spend your cross border pr0n stash

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/US-Mint-Quarter-Covert-Compartment/dp/B0036VJHXG

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: or accidentally spend your cross border pr0n stash

        Proper link to Micro SD Card Covert Spy Coin - Secret Compartment (U.S. Quarter) for anyone really keen. Temper your enthusiasm though - it's over seventy fucking quid. That's one valuable pr()n stash!

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      in one easy to swallow wafer

      That could get messy if your name is Mr Creosote..

      1. TRT Silver badge

        You'd need a Linux distro on that wafer.

    4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      My microSD card is the copy, not the original. Copy of OsmAnd+ maps, music, Wikipedia, documents, IMAP cache, etc. While traveling it has travel guides, movies, itinerary notes, and backups of my real camera.

  2. doublelayer Silver badge

    Do people use these

    I can see those who use a lot of video recording needing these, but I wouldn't want to put all my data onto one of these, given my experience with micro SD cards in the past. Some fail distressingly quickly, and some fall out and never get found again. This is fine given that, if this happens, I'm out a 32/64 GB storage device which is not particularly expensive and most of whose data has been transferred to my main media. I don't want to try the same thing with this.

    1. Zarno Bronze badge

      Re: Do people use these

      Dashcam usage at 4K tends to kill cards rather quickly.

      I go through 128Gb cards about once a year, usually failing "read only" with the data still there, just no way to write.

      I'm going with a 256Gb card in the dashcam this year once spring breaks, should allow for a longer loop interval and less total writes.

      I also use the 128Gb ones for the action cam, since that burps out 4K footage.

      As far as data storage goes, I'll stick with a regular SSD for the major bandwidth benefits.

      Still amazing that I paid $200 for 128Mb of flash all those moons ago, and it was on USB...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do people use these

      All true, but it's still a fairly astonishing achievement considering where the state of the art was just a few years ago.

  3. Permidion

    1TB microSD soon available, while (common sata consumer grade) ssd are still offering completely ridiculous capacity like 2Tb on average (some larger capacity ssd are available, but with also ridiculous high pricing) ?

    I guess we still havent gone past the point of return on investment on first/second generation ssd technologies.

    1. takyon
      Black Helicopters

      Consumer SSDs are cheaper per terabyte than these microSD cards, and there are consumer-oriented 4 TB SSDs, like Samsung 860 QVO.

      If you have bulk storage needs, you should be using a mix of SSD and spinning disk.

      I haven't completely filled my laptop's 500 GB HDD. I could if I wanted to, but I trim it down before that happens. If I had a 2 TB SSD, I would make sure to keep most video off of it. I could fill it with games or applications but nah.

      The $100 1 TB SSD is a thing now. Maybe in a year that will decline to $70, with 2 TB at $150.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a boon for the spy industry..

    Wow. That's 1TB worth of data that can be hidden in a hollow coin.

    That beats the CDs that were smuggled out of Swiss banks by quite some margin, and it's substantially faster to copy data onto them.

    Scary.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: What a boon for the spy industry..

      The scary shit is the systems allow it, not the memory card size.

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    Would pay good money for something that lets me insert a dozen microSD cards and performs proper RAID (not just mirror or stripe, but RAID5 or above) on them and presents them over... well... anything... USB, eSATA, microSD again...

    I'd rather have a bunch of 64Gb ones that I can replace for a pittance go wrong than one biggun'. Fact is a 1TB SSD is still £200+, but I can get 16 x 64Gb for 16 x £13 = £208. Or 8 x 128Gb for 8 x £22 = £176. And both the latter could be much smaller than even the smallest SSD. (All prices for Sandisk Ultra, obviously I could do it much cheaper with other brands).

    If you're not writing huge things all the time and not needing huge performance, just storage, microSD are cheap enough to be sacrificial, fast enough for any given purpose, and physically smaller, lighter and lower-power than anything else.

    Some cheap Chinese manufacturer needs to make a 2.5" SATA case which is just a bunch of microSD slots and a RAID controller. Upgradeable, redundant, solid-state, cheap, expandable, portable,... They do make them already for JBOD cases, but nobody's ever put real a RAID controller in the middle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would pay good money for something that lets me insert a dozen microSD cards and performs proper RAID (not just mirror or stripe, but RAID5 or above) on them and presents them over... well... anything... USB, eSATA, microSD again...

      LizardFS is your friend for your filesystem pool and redundancy. To re-represent that storage as a physical device (USB stick et al) will be harder, though :).

    2. RockBurner

      Interesting idea..... I like it. But why does it have to be SSD sized? You could conceivably make it the size of a USB stick. (give or take)

    3. RobThBay

      That's a brilliant idea!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well you could take a backblaze pod, edit the cad files, and build a new bill of materials and you're a long way there already

    5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      I would think that managing an array of old microSD cards would be extremely high maintenance compared to a normal solid state drive. The first task would be figuring out which ones are counterfeit. After that you're cleaning contacts, tracking down cards that are unreliable because they were built with old firmware, and constantly replacing the ones that have worn out. Your computer would start singing 'Daisy Bell'.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Probably. However, since they are very cheap, and unlikely to fail immediately, you could get a lot of semi-reliable storage in a portable case. The RAID approach prevents a failure of one or two cards causing the loss of data, and they're straightforward to replace. I would not suggest it for internal data storage, but it could be useful for backup or for those who need a great deal of data on them.

        The main alternative is a portable mechanical hard drive. This would probably offer a lot of benefits, but it is a single unit with no redundancy, and if the controller fails, it may not be feasible to recover data unless the drive can easily be disassembled to get at the disk. This idea wouldn't be worth a ton to me, but I'd be interested and would possibly buy one if the price was right.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember video article using multiple SD as harddisc

      the conclusion was that it was pitifully slow and more expensive that SSD

      see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3frnBoqqI_Q

  6. takyon
    Mushroom

    Breaking the 2 TB ceiling

    How much more NAND can fit into a full-sized SD card than microSD? 4x? 8x? (Volume of SD is almost 10x more than microSD: 1,612.8 mm^3 vs. 165 mm^3. Some of that is wasted space so I think 8x would be a best case scenario and 4x is more likely.)

    The new SDUC format allows sizes beyond 2 TB, up to 128 TB. SDXC is limited to 2 TB (2,048 GB).

    We are in that awkward moment where the largest available capacities for both microSD and SD are 1 TB. But we could probably see 2 TB microSD and 4-8 TB SD cards very quickly using the latest NAND. 96 layers will become 128 layers, whatever capacity per die these cards have will go up to 1.33 Tb/die, etc.

    Increase layers to beyond 512, increase capacity per die to beyond 4 Tb, stack more dies*, decrease process node size, and increase bits per cell to 8, and maybe we have a chance at seeing 128 TB fingernail-sized storage within the next 10 years.

    *Samsung's recent 1 TB eUFS storage stacked 16 dies, but at least 32 stacked dies within 1mm thickness may be possible.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Breaking the 2 TB ceiling

      I don't know about the relative market shares between standard size SD and micro SD, but I would assume that micro SD is getting used a lot more, and hence has more has a lot more R&D work done on putting more storage into them. I also have to wonder how many people really want more than a terabyte on a removable, easily dropped, easily cracked piece of plastic. That falls into the too-many-eggs-one-basket zone for me.

      I hope this development will mean that people who ship an SD card with their product because they must have a big box of them somewhere increase their default size. Anyone know something useful to do with a bunch of 2GB micro SD cards? I put one in every device that has a slot but isn't using it, and yet I still have a few sitting around.

      1. takyon

        Re: Breaking the 2 TB ceiling

        Depending on your use case, you might touch the microSD card a grand total of 1 or 2 times. Just insert it and transfer files over.

        You could buy some cheap single board computers to put your 2 GB cards in. For example, Raspberry Pi Zero W.

  7. TheVogon Silver badge

    Most buyers of this are going to be hacked Nintendo Switch owners!

    1. takyon
      Thumb Up

      gimme the bits

      Now that's what I call a SouljaGame handheld!

      I respect Nintendo for supporting 2 TB microSDXC cards on Nintendo Switch, which they did with a software update. Other companies like Samsung apparently limit their support to an arbitrary size available on the market (like 400 GB for Samsung Galaxy S9).

      If Nintendo announces a refresh/pro version of the Switch, I'll be looking for SDUC support. If they announce support for up to 128 TB microSDUC or add support through a software update, I might just buy the thing. Ideally it would also support SD Express for up to 985 MB/s speeds.

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