Updated on 8-30-2015 by Jeremy Kaplan: Revised and updated to reflect lack of availability of the product, including comments from the company and growing concern among eager customers.
Microdia plans to take MicroSD storage capacity to the absolute extreme with its new Xtra Elite card, which crams 512GB into a normal-sized MicroSDXC card — but when exactly will the tiny giant actually be released?
Sandisk announced a 200GB microSD card in March, a capacity that was quite impressive — it still is, to be fair. But it seems tiny when you look at it next to the half a terabyte of storage purportedly in Microdia’s card, which was discovered by CNET on the show floor of Computex. The SDXC specification allows cards to store up to 2TB, but this 512GB card is the largest we’ve heard of so far. Of course, SanDisk won’t be far behind, as the company has previously released a full-sized 512GB SD card.
The team at Microdia didn’t have an actual working sample on the show floor, however, so eager professional photographers were forced to take the company at its word regarding the giant card. The card was set for release in July; is it available today, a full month after Microdia promised to deliver it?
“Technically is YES,” Michael Anderson, Vice President of New Product Development, told Digital Trends. “But commercially, we are pushing out our 256GB microSD (uSD) Cards first and hope to clear all of our production inventory of 256GB uSD by end of the year.”
“Then we will promote 512GB accordingly, as else our 256GB uSD will be destroyed by our own 512uSD,” he explained.
Meanwhile frustration is mounting among photographers eager to get their hands on the biggest cards in town.
“I was very excited when I first heard about it. Now I feel this is all a sham.”
“I was very excited when I first heard about the 512gb card, “wrote Marcos Javier Soria on the company’s Facebook page. “But now I feel this is all a sham.”
“They don’t have any, just blowing in the wind to hype their own company’s name,” another person wrote.
The company responded to the criticism (sort of) on August 6, with a small note that the smaller 256GB cards were finally available: “Dear Everybody, our 256GB has been released. please msg me your email address and your location. Be quick limited stock available!”
Besides limited (if any) distribution, the card carries another red flag: a huge price tag. The $1,000 price point cited by CNET is just an estimate, and the final price could vary slightly, though that stab is likely to be in the right ballpark, making this card prohibitively expensive for the average shutterbug.
The Xtra Elite reportedly uses version 4.0 of the Secure Digital standard, which allows for data transfer speeds up to 300MBps. SD 4.0 also adds a second row of pins below the standard ones.
This card is clearly aimed at professional photographers who can stomach the large expense in exchange for not having to switch cards. It’s exciting for everyone, though, because like all new technology, the price will go down, and at some point the rest of us will be able to pick up huge MicroSD cards for reasonable prices.
Assuming Microdia ever releases the darn thing.