The microSD cards that we use for storage expansion are about to get a lot faster and more frugal when it comes to energy intake. The SD Association has announced microSD Express, the next generation memory card storage standard that relies on the NVMe and PCIe technologies for SSDs to deliver blazing fast data read and write speeds. The microSD Express cards are claimed to provide a data transfer speed of up to 985MBps and will be available in three variants.
The SD Association originally announced the Express standard for SD cards back in June last year and revealed that they will be available in up to 128TB storage capacity. The same storage technology has now trickled down to microSD cards that will soon hit the market in three versions – microSDHC Express, microSDXC Express, and microSDUC Express. The new lineup of Express series microSD cards follow SD 7.1 specification and will be available in multiple storage options.
The microSD Express cards contain a second row of pins that are utilised to bring the PCIe 3.1 and NVMe 1.3 technology to life in such a small form factor. The SD Association claims that the microSD Express cards are basically equivalent to a removable SSD card in smartphones and other compatible devices. In addition to a significantly faster data transfer speed, the microSD Express video cards are also claimed to consume less energy, besides serving as an ideal solution for high-intensity tasks such as capturing super slow motion videos, RAW burst mode output and 8K video playback.
Aside from regular users and professionals, the microSD Express memory cards are also claimed to bring more versatility and new solutions for developers such as Bus Mastering, Multi Queue, and Host Memory Buffer among others. Additionally, the new generation of faster microSD cards also bring advantages such as enhanced data processing and an advanced memory access mechanism. Moreover, just like previous iterations of microSD cards, the Express line-up also retains the backwards compatibility feature in addition to the password lock security and data write protection.
It will be a while before these are available for the consumers as the card manufacturers will have to use the standard and manufacture new cards and the laptop/ camera/ mobile phone companies will need to develop new hardware that is actually capable to take advantage of these speeds.