In recent years we have seen the development of 3D NAND push up the capacity and push down the prices of all sorts of flash devices, from SSDs to phones, and everything in between. Due to startup cost and longevity needs, we’ve seen 3D NAND focused primarily on permanent storage so far, but it looks like that is soon going to change, and 3D NAND will more widely make its way to removable storage.

This morning at the Photokina trade show in Germany, Western Digital is demonstrating a prototype 1TB SDXC card. This comes just 2 years after the previously-SanDisk portion of the company first demoed a 512GB prototype back at the show in 2014, meaning the new 1TB card comes more or less right on schedule with the breakneck pace of the NAND industry. More importantly, to our knowledge this is the first time that a 1TB SDXC has been shown off in any capacity. And while it’s clearly a prototype – Western Digital isn’t talking about when it’s going to ship – that day will be sooner than later.

At the moment Western Digital isn’t saying too much about the card, and its presence at Photokina is primarily to show off that they can now make such a card. The card is being related under the SanDisk Extreme Pro brand, but performance figures aren’t being published at this time. We have however received confirmation that the card is internally composed of 32 NAND dies, which means we’re looking at a 32 x 256Gbit configuration. So although Western Digital is not saying so at this time, the card is almost assuredly using the company’s jointly developed 256Gbit 48 layer “BiCS” 3D NAND, or a newer incarnation thereof. In fact 1TB is the first SDXC capacity that would require 3D NAND, as 512GB cards could be build using 128Gbit planar dies.

Overall, Western Digital is pitching the new SDXC card at the photography and videography markets. In the case of the latter in particular, the company believes that the increasing use of 4K and 8K recording will drive greater storage requirements.

Source: Western Digital/SanDisk

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  • nagi603 - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    So a dozen of this would have as much space as a quite respectable NAS... if not the speed or reliability. Still, insane.
  • ddriver - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    It will probably be more expensive than 1 tb SSD. Most certainly it will have a much poorer price performance ratio.
  • ABR - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    Unless your metrics for performance include space or power consumption.
  • nagi603 - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    Exactly. with an rPI or similar, this would mean insane storage per cubic centimeter ratio.
  • ddriver - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    The performance metrics are bandwidth and latency, power consumption would be in the efficiency department. This isn't any denser than other contemporary flash which will end up in SSDs, it still requires an additional controller, and keeping mind mind it is still flash, the only way to get lower power consumption is at the cost of performance.

    The use case for this product is definitely NOT NAS. It is for cameras and stuff where its low performance wouldn't be a detrimental factor as long as it is enough for the particular application.

    Last but not least, it will most likely cost many times its weight in gold.
  • Morawka - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    Well duh, the 512GB model already does this and it's been on the market for over a year
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    So... the sales of the other smaller sized cards is starting to slow and, like magic, this appears.

    Yay. the $$$ train carries on. I'm sure the price of this 'beast' will be stupid for the first two years.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    Are you insinuating some sort of conspiracy? Since you are just describing how technical progress works in pretty much any industry. Nothing magic about it.
  • ddriver - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    It works like this - hold off for as long as possible, charge as much as possible, the goal is not innovation, the goal is to make money by keeping progress a hostage.
  • close - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - link

    The goal is not to support your claims, just say dumb shit and try to sound smart while doing it. I happen to have it on good authority that they're actually sitting on $10, 16TB micro SDHC cards (mind you, that's of Secure Digital Humongous Capacity type) but just refuse to put them on the market. They will conveniently show up sometime in the future when it's reasonable to expect such products at such prices and not a day before. Dirty capitalist bastards.

    Talking about innovations kept under wraps, how's your 5.25" hard drive revolution doing? Are the big names still trying to keep you down?

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