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At a recent European trade show for photographers and videographers, SanDisk unveiled its latest SD memory card with a massive one terabyte of storage capacity – more than many home computers. The record-breaking card comes just two years after SanDisk revealed the world’s first 512GB SD card in 2014, and sixteen years after SanDisk released its first 64MB SD card.
As technology advances, memory card makers are able to cram even more storage capacity onto the popular SD cards, with no increase in physical dimensions. In less than two decades, the capacity of these cards has increased by a factor of 16,000. In this respect, Moore’s Law is still alive and well.
(Moore’s Law refers to a 1965 observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Moore’s Law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.)
The new SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card will satisfy a range of data-intensive applications, from video surveillance and 360-degree video, to virtual reality and Ultra HD 4K/8K video capture. Most existing SD cards struggle to store large volumes of high-resolution footage, so for those who work with a lot of 4K video, the new card will allow for longer recording times without the inconvenience of switching cards mid-shoot.
The release date and price have not yet been confirmed, however SanDisk’s 512GB card initially retailed for US$800, and the price has since dropped to around US$350 from online vendors. SanDisk has also not revealed the card’s read/write speed, although it’s unlikely to be lightening-fast given the high capacity.
There appears to be no limit to the rate at which technology manufacturers can continue to miniaturise storage devices and cram ever more capacity onto tiny cards. Within another couple of years, it’s likely we’ll be announcing the release of 2TB or 4TB SD cards.