Upcoming SD cards to have 128TB storage capacity, 985MBps transfer speed

Gelo Gonzales
The storage capacity jump is huge from today's 2-terabyte maximum

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MANILA, Philippines – US-based standards body SD Association (SDA) announced two new, exciting technologies for those who need massive SD card capacities and fast transfer speeds: SD Express and SD Ultra Capacity.

SD Express is a new data transfer interface that allows transfer speeds of up to 985 megabytes per second (MBps). SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC), on the other hand, allows a maximum capacity of 128 terabytes (TB). The capacity jump is huge: it’s 64 times bigger than today’s max of 2TB. The speed upgrade is relatively more modest, going from the former speed record of 624 MBps, achievable through the SD UHS-3 specification introduced in 2017. 

The two are the key technologies in the SDA’s new SD 7.0 specification. SDA announced the new specification at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Thursday, June 28.

What enables the SD Express’ faster data speed is the incorporation of PCI-Express technology, which is most commonly used in graphics cards. SD Express cards may also be used like a traditional solid-state drive (SSD) with its use of Non-Volatile Memory express (NVME) technology used by SSDs.

The faster data transfer speeds of SD Express will enable the ability to handle high volume data applications such as super-slow motion video, RAW image continuous burst mode, 8K video recording and playback, 360-degree videos, demanding apps and games running on cards and mobile devices, internet-of-things devices and automotive devices.

SD Express will first be appearing on SDUC cards, and older-generation SD Extended Capacity (SDXC) and SD High Capacity (SDHC) cards. SD Express will be compatible with legacy devices, but in order to reach its maximum speed, an SD Express-enabled device is needed.

“With SD Express we’re offering an entirely new level of memory card with faster protocols turning cards into a removable SSD,” said SDA president Hiroyuki Sakamoto in their press statement.

“SD 7.0 delivers revolutionary innovations to anticipate the needs of forthcoming devices and content rich and speed hungry applications,” Sakamoto added. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.