MicroSD Express allows for "removable SSD" levels of performance

Greg S

TS Evangelist

Mobile World Congress 2019 is upon us, but there are more than just shiny new smartphones to share. The SD Association has announced that microSD Express cards will be arriving under the SD 7.1 specification, which offers PCI Express and NVMe interfaces.

Utilizing PCI Express and NVMe allows for data transfer rates of up to 985MB/s and will still allow for backwards compatibility at the expense of speed. As mobile device cameras continue to improve, games get bigger, and more complex desktop apps are able to run on tablets or large phones, the need for fast, large capacity storage is clear.

MicroSD Express makes use of the PCIe 3.1 standard as well as NVMe 1.3. As a result, future microSD Express cards will use the same or less power than current options available. Low power sub-states ensure that maximum energy consumption is at or below what previous generations have achieved. Knowing that numerous breakthroughs in battery technology never seem to appear on the market, a speed increase without a power increase is an important factor to consider.

Additions to the SD specification are not just about smartphones. An increasing number of IoT devices and automotive uses of microSD cards will also benefit from higher speed options.

In effect, the SD Association has allowed for "memory cards to serve as removable Solid State Drives." Adoption is going to take years across industries, but the stage has been set to eliminate slow storage in mobile devices.

A brief white paper on SD Express has been published detailing need and use for the new standards. For those that would rather not read a white paper, a video has been created to give a condensed explanation.

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ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
The main problem is that we are unlikely to see any microSD cards reaching this speed any time soon. Those which will approach it will likely cost about 10 times as much as an NVMe drive of the same size.
 

Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
We've had UHS-II and UHS-III for years now, UHS-III could reach something like 695MB/s but still no Smartphone Manufacturer uses the specifications, we're still stuck on UHS-I limited to around 100MB/s.
 
SSD prices have plummeted.

a 120GB SSD is less than $30.

a 250GB SSD is less than $50

a 500GB SSD is less than $80

a 1TB SSD is less than $140

a 2TB SSD is about $289.


Why would you still be wasting time using micro SD when you can just use SSD???


Most Cars have smaller than 100GB HDD (usually around 20GB to 50GB) to store Map Data for the Navigation system. Replace that HDD with an SSD and it will FLY.
 
985 MB/sec peak. When cool. There's not much area for heat dissipation with a small naked piece of plastic.

But, you know, those numbers look good on paper...
 
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erickmendes

TS Evangelist
SSD prices have plummeted.

a 120GB SSD is less than $30.

a 250GB SSD is less than $50

a 500GB SSD is less than $80

a 1TB SSD is less than $140

a 2TB SSD is about $289.


Why would you still be wasting time using micro SD when you can just use SSD???


Most Cars have smaller than 100GB HDD (usually around 20GB to 50GB) to store Map Data for the Navigation system. Replace that HDD with an SSD and it will FLY.
Can you use an SSD on a smartphone? ...
 

Dustyn

TS Booster
Don't forget about Nano Memory cards by Huawei. These will hopefully replace MicroSD cards down the line. :)
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Will a "microsd express" be able to be formatted like an SSD, and operate "like a hard drive"?
Or is this not for that?
 

Bullwinkle M

TS Booster
Will a "microsd express" be able to be formatted like an SSD, and operate "like a hard drive"?
Or is this not for that?
It can be formatted like an SSD but will likely operate as a removable disk

SSD's and hard drives are "fixed" disks, meaning you can install an operating system directly to them

You can install Linux to a removable disk or a virtualized copy of Windows 7/8 and 10 to a removable disk using WintoUSB

However, write caching might not be allowed in Linux when using removable disks and Trim or garbage collection would be disabled in Windows

These type of cards "might" be for storing data only

Hard drives can be unplugged and retain data for several years
SD cards might retain data for a year when unplugged

Durability is a variable and is unrelated to data retention

I've used killdisk to wipe a cheap Silicon Power thumb drive over 350 times without destroying the drive (It still works)

MLC flash is usually Very Durable from the better manufacturers

I have not torture tested TLC or QLC flash yet and have no opinion as to their durability

So, they will probably be more like a thumb drive than an SSD and most likely TLC or QLC
 
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