Micron announces 1TB industrial microSD, aimed at surveillance markets

The 96-layer 3D QLC NAND-based microSDXC card is marketed toward enterprise use.

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Micron announced a QLC-basd 1TB industrial microSD on Tuesday, touting it as the first such 1TB microSDXC card for the enterprise.

The product focuses on the surveillance camera market—Micron says it can "store more than three months of video footage," with video rates up to 1 Mbps.

The Micron i300 microSD card is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities, and is built using its 96-layer 3D QLC NAND. Micron uses the high-capacity NAND in its products, including the aforementioned microSD cards, as well as SATA and NVMe-linked SSDs, as well as selling NAND to other companies to pair with custom controllers in their products.

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Micron is positioning the card for edge compute, with surveillance systems increasing storing video on-device, rather than transmitting everything to external storage as it is recorded, eliminating the need for on-site DVRs, lowering TCO costs.

This may be an application where QLC NAND makes sense, if it takes three months to fill the microSD on a continuous write (though increasing the resolution of the storage image could undercut this). Given that QLC is rated for 100 to 1,000 erase/write cycles, for three months per device write, a pessimistic view would put the lifespan at 25 years.

Micron returned to the microSD market earlier this year with the release of the c200 series, also powered by 3D QLC NAND. 

The company previously owned the consumer-focused brand Lexar from 2006-2017, selling it to Longsys in August 2017. Under the direction of Longsys, Lexar re-entered the market in August 2018, introducing its first 1TB (full-size) SD card this January, 15 years after Lexar introduced its first 1GB SD card.

2019 has seen multiple storage density increases, with Toshiba announcing a 1TB M.2 2230 SSD at CES. This was later found to be the SSD powering Microsoft's newly announced Surface Laptop 3, which received high praise for having a modular SSD, in comparison to Apple's soldered-down ones.

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Image: Micron