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Samsung’s new microSD card is faster than some SSDs

of Samsung the upcoming microSD card will offer a drastic speed boost. The company’s 256GB SD Express microSD — Samsung’s first SD Express card — can read data at speeds of up to 800 MB/s, significantly faster than microSDs you can buy today. However, we still don’t know how much it will cost, and the card won’t be available until later this year.

The 256GB SD Express microSD will have a (theoretical) sequential read speed of up to 800 MB/s, which is over 2.5 times faster than the read speed of UHS-II microSD cards and 1.4 times faster than a SATA SSD . So, at least in theory, Samsung’s new card should be noticeably faster than the cheapest solid-state drives.

Samsung has added thermal management capabilities to keep temperatures under control. “To ensure stable performance and reliability for the small form factor, Dynamic Thermal Guard (DTG) technology maintains the optimal temperature for the SD Express microSD card, even during long usage sessions,” the company wrote in a press release announcing the new card.

Samsung is (perhaps unsurprisingly) introducing the almighty buzzword ‘AI’ into faster card speeds. “With our two new microSD cards, Samsung has provided effective solutions to address the growing demands of mobile computing and on-device AI,” wrote Samsung Vice President Hangu Son.

The company’s Galaxy S24 series goes big with AI, but Samsung hasn’t included a microSD slot in its flagship phones for the past four generations. (Nor will most of the rest of the smartphone playing field.) So while future AI-powered devices may benefit from the extra speeds, Samsung’s current batch of high-end phones aren’t on that list . In addition, although SD Express is backwards compatible, not many devices (yet) support SD Express, which requires an extra row of pins on the host device. In other words, the card’s full potential won’t be realized until we have new hardware to support it.

Product image for Samsung 1TB microSD card.  Two cards (one white, one blue) on a white background.

Samsung

Although unrelated to the speedy SD Express card, Samsung also introduced a new 1TB microSD with UHS-1 speeds. “Samsung’s new 1TB microSD card stacks eight layers of the company’s 8th generation 1-terabit (Tb) V-NAND within the microSD form factor, realizing the high-capacity package previously only possible in SSDs,” the company wrote . The 1TB card includes protection against water, extreme temperatures, drops, X-rays and magnets.

Samsung’s hefty 256GB SD Express microSD card will be released “later this year,” while the 1TB UHS-1 microSD arrives in the third quarter of 2024. The company didn’t say how much either would cost.

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