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Samsung launches new microSD cards to prepare for the age of smartphone AI

By Liu Hongzuo - on 28 Feb 2024, 2:28pm

Samsung launches new microSD cards to prepare for the age of smartphone AI

Samsung now has a microSD card that supports SD Express, making it possible to hit read speeds of up to 800MB/s.

In preparation for the growing demand for smartphone AI, Samsung announced the mass production of two new microSD cards.

“With our two new microSD cards, Samsung has provided effective solutions to address the growing demands of mobile computing and on-device AI. Despite their tiny size, these memory cards deliver powerful SSD-like performance and capacity to help users get more out of demanding modern and future applications,” said Hangu Sohn, Vice President of the Memory Brand Product Biz Team at Samsung Electronics.

One is the 256GB SD Express microSD card, with sequential read speeds of up to 800MB/s. According to the official statement by Samsung, 800MB/s is much faster than UHS-I’s limit of 104MB/s and 1.4x faster than SATA SSDs (560MB/s).

SD Association's cheatsheet on bus interfaces for microSD cards. A bus interface is the physical connection between the accessory (in this case, the card) to the device (e.g. smartphone).

SD Express is a microSD card interface launched in 2018 that uses PCIe 4.0 and NVMe interfaces to deliver ultra-high performance and three important secure features needed for devices to trust it like its own memory: Boot support, Trusted Computing Group Storage, and Replay Protected Memory Block authenticated memory. While the SD Express interface has been around, support for the interface has only taken off recently. That should hopefully improve with this new card launched by Samsung.

The 1TB, UHS-I microSD card Samsung has managed to produce.

The other new card by Samsung is a UHS-I microSD card, now achieving up to 1TB storage. It stacks eight layers of Samsung’s 8th-generation 1-terabit (Tb) V-NAND inside the microSD card, making the microSD card carry comparable storage to full-sized SSDs. The new card also comes with all the standard durability features expected of them, like water protection, extreme temperature, drop-proof design, wear-out protection, as well as X-ray and magnetic protection.

The 256GB SD Express microSD card will be available for purchase “later this year”, and the 1TB UHS-I microSD card is set for a launch in Q3 2024. We’ll update you if they ever come to Singapore.

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