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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  • Targon - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Galaxy S10 says 512GB cards are supported. I'm not sure if that is because that is the limit on what cards were available and what QA process was being used.
  • notashill - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Tons of devices only "support" 32GB or whatever but I have yet to find a device where 128GB cards actually don't work. What they usually actually mean is that only FAT32 works so these larger cards will have to be reformatted as they tend to ship as exFAT from the factory.
  • GTRagnarok - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    That's definitely not true unless you actually believe devices that support microSDXC, an almost decade old standard, are very rare. Even the Galaxy S2 had a microSDXC slot. And any device that supports microSDXC should take any card up to 2TB. Devices' specs usually say they'll accept up to whatever the highest capacity card is available at the time. So for instance, everywhere you look the specs for the Galaxy S4 says it'll take up to a 64GB card. But of course, it can take 128GB+ no problem. This is probably just companies playing it safe and avoiding customer confusion.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Your user name strikes again.
    I echo what the others have said. On that note, I have yet to come across a device that claims to work with 32GB mSDs and does not handle my 256GB or 400GB ones. PS Vita adapter and old 3DS XL working fine with those capacities, making longer holidays without internet access less of a bore.
  • s.yu - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Very rarely? A recorder I lost last year(which was a 2011 model) supported up to 32GB, but its successor launched in 2015 (IIRC) already supported SDXC at least up to 128GB(tested).
  • Targon - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    I wonder if the full capacity would show up in a Galaxy S10, or if the OS/drivers would limit the available storage space.
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    I need this for my RaspberryPi 3+ streaming media server.
  • Alistair - Thursday, May 16, 2019 - link

    Can get a 512GB card for $85 instead. So they have a long way to go with a price drop before most anyone should buy one :)
  • letmepicyou - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - link

    I'm imagining a NAS the size of a pack of gum with enough of these in it to create a nice 6-10 TB RAID 10 array with the power consumption of a single SSD...

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