Micron has introduced the world's highest capacity microSD card, the i400, with up to 1,5TB of storage space, 50% more than the previous champion, the C200.
The semiconductor giant has achieved this capability using its 3-layer 176D NAND technology (similar to that used in SSDs) and will be targeting the enterprise market, especially anything related to edge video storage. In other words, don't expect the card to be cheap or easy to find, especially since it's designed to handle five years of continuous high-quality 24x7 recording and a whopping MTBF of two million hours.
No details on its performance were provided, but it's clearly an industrial-grade product, unlike the C200, which means writing and endurance are likely to be on the higher end of the spectrum. The C200 used 3-layer 96D NAND technology, and the i400 (also available in capacities as small as 64GB) is likely to have additional wear-leveling capacity.
Analysis: What's next for microSD?
To date, Silicon Power, Lexar, Sandisk, Teamgroup, and PNY have released a 1TB microSD, with Kingston and Samsung quietly staying on the sidelines.
For most use cases, cloud storage, cheap bandwidth, and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity have made high-performance, high-capacity local storage a thing of the past. This is one of the reasons why most high-end smartphones no longer offer removable storage.
So will others follow in Micron's footsteps with microSD cards larger than 1TB? Maybe, but they won't be cheap in a shrinking market.
One feature that didn't make it to the i400 is SD Express, high-speed technology that could boost data transfers to 4GB/s. The problem is that this is often a chicken-and-egg scenario where compatible drives/devices are not readily available to justify a significant increase in component cost.