Western Digital and Micron go big with world's first 1TB microSD cards

SanDisk Extrme 1TB
SanDisk Extrme 1TB (Image credit: SanDisk)

MWC 2019

You can never really have too much storage, or at least that's what Western Digital and Micron are hoping with their latest microSD cards. Both companies this week announced the world's first one-terabyte microSD cards at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, meaning you can probably store every cat GIF you've ever come across on a chip the size of your fingertip.

Kidding aside, both chips mark a major step up for removable storage. But they certainly won't come cheap. Western Digital's card, which will be sold under its SanDisk brand, is expected to hit stores in April for $450; a 512GB version of the card will also be available for $200, Western Digital says. Micron, on the other hand, is mum on pricing, but in a statement to The Verge, the company its card will be "priced competitively." Micron's card is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2019.

As for performance, Western Digital says that its card will reach read and write speeds of up to 160MB per second and 90MB per second, respectively. Meanwhile, Micron is promising read and write speeds of up to 100MB per second and 95MB per second, respectively.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Wow! Now, if we can get a 1TB MicroSD Express card with up to 950MB per second, that would put standard SSD's to shame!
  • Of course it will be faster than SATA SSDs... because it will be NVMe you uneducated potato.
  • Yes, would have been smart for them to have produced these with the MicroSD Express format.
  • I don't think MicroSD Express would have been a smart business move. For MicroSD Express to work, the host has to provide a PCI-e lane to the microSD slot, which I'm pretty sure most current devices do not support, and cameras might not support for a while if ever.
    Even x64-based devices might not have an extra PCI-e lane available for it, as the number of PCI-e lanes is one of the metrics to separate classes of CPUs into different prices categories, which is already the reason why the Surface Book 2 couldn't have one to enable Thunderbolt 3 on its USB-C port even if Microsoft wanted to, let alone yet another one for its SD slot. This means the SD card would have to support both SD-XC and NVMe interfaces (this might even be mandatory anyway as part of the SD specs to keep backward compatibility, like UHS cards must support hosts without UHS bus), not to mention the flash modules would need to provide the performances to take advantage of NVMe speeds for it to provide any benefit.
    This would have increased the cost, if they even have the physical space for that dual controller (or triple controller if you want SD-HS + UHS-III + NVMe, so you don't get back down to 25MB/s on non-NVMe hosts), for a feature that virtually no current potential customer could take advantage of. Having high-capacity SD-XC-only cards for customers who need the space but don't need or even couldn't take advantage of the speed makes sense.
    The logical choice here is to release another class of MicroSD cards for customers who want NVMe benefits... a new speed tier above "Extreme".