About 11 years ago, consumers were scrambling for SanDisk’s bleeding-edge 512MB Secure Digital (SD) cards. This week the company unveiled its new 512GB SD cards, the highest-capacity SD cards ever to hit the market for owners of DSLR cameras, video cameras, or other SD card-friendly devices. The SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I memory card, which retails for $800 a pop, is meant to fulfill the needs of video and photo enthusiasts.
“4K Ultra HD is an example of a technology that is pushing us to develop new storage solutions capable of handling massive file sizes,” according to Dinesh Vahal, vice president of product marketing at SanDisk. “The 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card is a tremendous advancement that enables professionals to reliably store more content on a single card than ever before.”
Though the half-terabyte SD card has a capacity that’s 1,000 times larger than the 512MB SD card SanDisk unveiled in 2003, it keeps the same physical stamp-like size (0.94 x 1.25 x 0.08 inches). Besides up to 90MB-per-second in write speeds, UHS Speed Class 3 (a minimum write speed of 30MB/s) recording speeds and up to 95MB/s transfer speeds, the new Extreme PRO memory card is also waterproof, temperature-proof, shockproof, and X-ray proof.
The 512GB card can hold about four hours of 4K Ultra HD video or about a full day’s worth of 1080p video. Put in other terms, it takes about 11 hours to transfer 512GB over a 100BASE-TX Ethernet (100Mb/s) connection. SanDisk’s Extreme PRO SD card also comes in 256GB and 128GB versions.
While physical storage isn’t quite a sexy field, SanDisk’s announcement comes in the aftermath of the infamous hacking of Apple’s iCloud. “So far there’s still a strong preference for local storage,” John Delaney, a senior mobile analyst for IDC, told the BBC. “People just feel more in control and more able to rely on being able to access the content when they literally know where it is. Storing in the cloud means you literally don’t know where it is.”
Technically, SDXC cards can hold up to 2TB, which means SD cards aren’t done “growing” just yet.