SD cards expand from consumer to enterprise markets

20th November 2017
SD cards expand from consumer to enterprise markets

The  SD card is now the world's  most widely-used portable  storage  -- with capacity poised to   touch a terabyte
Bangalore, November 20, 2017: In 2000, the  world's  first  portable  memory card was launched. The standard for what became the  SD or Secure Digital card,   was  a  joint development of  Panasonic, SanDisk and Toshiba.  The first few cards had capacities up to  64 MB.   In the 17 years since then, capacity has increased almost 17,000 times: A year ago, SanDisk showed a prototype of the world's first 1 terabyte SD card, the stamp-sized storage that  digital cameras use. It is not yet commercially launched, but  data-hungry recording formats like 4K and 8K and 360-degree wide,   have  already created  a market for such jumbo storage. 
The younger brother  of the SD card is the microSD -- the tiny, SIM-sized  chips, we slip into mobile phones, to extend their   on-board storage.   In September this year, Western Digital,  now the parent company of SanDisk,  offered the highest capacity microSD card -- 400 GB. It could   hold 40 hours of full HD video  and  transfer it at around 100 MBPS. Such  big capacities  don't come cheap: it costs $ 250 ( Rs 16,500) --  possibly more than  the price of the phone itself! But then you pay for the portability, not just capacity.  The advantage is,  you can seamlessly  use such  cards as extensions of the native storage on the phone -- thanks to  tweaks that come with
In fact,  the microSD card is edging out the  full-sized  SD card in some cameras,  like the  bike or head-mounted action cameras and as on-board storage for drone cameras.  Tiny computers,  like that students' favourite, the Rasberry Pi, have also   updated their specifications to work with microSDs.
What happens when you  build a WiFi antenna into an SD card?  You  transmit the photos and videos captured by your digital camera,   wirelessly to a browser or email, without going through a PC or laptop. The technology is now offered by SD cards like  Eye-Fi, Toshiba FlashAir, Transcend WiFi etc. And in yet  another  nudge towards the future, SD cards have merged with USB. You can  plug the SanDisk SD Plus into a USB port by swinging  open a hinge  that reveals a USB adapter.
The  largely consumer-focused SD card and its micro avatar,  are  slowly finding  corporate  use as well.  Vivek Tyagi, who leads  Sandisk's enterprise business in India, says almost a third of the business  is now from   enterprises.   We are only a few years away from  a 1TB microSD  card, he feels. 
They used to say : "You can never have too much  storage in the kitchen".  Likewise, for  SD storage, it seems!