Tuesday, 04 March 2014 14:31

SanDisk packs 128GB into microSDXC card

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SanDisk's latest Ultra microSDXC memory card has an astonishing 128GB capacity.

Cramming 128GB of memory into a microSDXC card was no simple matter, SanDisk marketing director Brian Pridgeon told iTWire. New tooling and new processes were needed to create the product.

To achieve this capacity, SanDisk had to halve the thickness of the dice that contain the memory cells. They are now so thin that a sheet of paper is approximately the same thickness as four dice, and the company had to develop new tools to manipulate such thin components.

But the 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC has the same durability as the 64GB versions, he said.

It is a Class 10 device, meaning it is suitable for full HD video. The throughput is 30MBps, twice that of regular memory cards.

Mr Pridgeon said the motivation for developing a higher-capacity card for mobile devices was that users are concerned about running out of space and the 'what to delete?' dilemma.

Increasing the storage to 128GB provides room for as much as 24 hours of video, allowing users to take more of their 'digital stuff' with them. It has the potential to "transform the way customers use their smartphones," he said.

A new version of SanDisk's Memory Zone app for Android is currently in beta, with a new feature that automatically moves files from the device's built-in memory to the microSD card in order to maintain a required level of free space on the internal device.

Local pricing of the 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC has yet to be announced, but it costs $US199.99 in the US.

The use of the new extra-slim chips may spread to SanDisk's Extreme and Extreme Pro family allowing increased capacity, but those models use a different controller which has not yet been slimmed down, Mr Pridgeon said.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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