If you’ve ever worried about running out of space on your camera’s memory card, Sandisk has solved that problem — and its answer could make virtual reality way more accessible for the everyday consumer. The innovation is simple — the company made a really, really big SD card. How big? One terabyte big, 1,000-gigabytes big.
In less than two decades, SanDisk has revolutionized the standard for SD cards, innovating from a mere 64MB card to unveiling a card this week that will hold up to one terabyte of high-resolution files. SanDisk already broke records with its 512GB card in 2014. Right now, it’s the only company that has announced a 1TB card.
“The SanDisk 1TB SD card prototype represents another significant achievement as growth of high-resolution content and capacity-intensive applications such as virtual reality, video surveillance and 360 video, are progressing at astounding rates,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product management, Content Solutions Business Unit, Western Digital, in a press release.
“With the growing demand for applications like VR, we can certainly use 1TB when were out shooting continuous high-quality video,” says Sam Nicholson, CEO of Stargate Studios. “High-capacity cards allow us to capture more without interruption, streamlining our workflow, and eliminating the worry that we may miss a moment because we have to stop to swap out cards,”
But increased storage size alone might not be enough to keep SanDisk ahead of competitors. In July Samsung released its Universal Flash Storage, a new removable storage card format. The cards are five times faster than traditional microSD cards and can read about 530 megabytes per second, which is comparable to the speed of most laptops. However, storage for the cards is currently capped at 256 gigabytes, which wouldn’t make it a viable option for virtual reality filmmakers.
Of course, the terabyte card is still in prototype, so SanDisk competitors still have time to catch up. SanDisk has not announced when the card would be available for sale.