BARCELONA: WESTERN DIGITAL has been showing off its wares at this years MWC with announcements from the consumer side, as well as the OEM side, and a glimpse of the longer-term plan.
For retail, there's the worlds fastest 400GB microSD card, which, the company claims can rival internal memory on many handsets, making it ideal for the storage sharing capabilities in recent versions of Android.
The SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXCT card conforms to the bleeding edge A2 specs, which has full backward compatibility (we're told) but uses proprietary WD technology to boost read speeds to 160MB/s - significantly faster than its nearest rival. Write speeds are up to 90MB/s.
Western Digital told us that the cards are being fabbed as we write this and we can expect to see them in "about 45 days".
At the under-the-hood end, the company revealed two NVMe 3D NAND SSDs, available in a range of form factors, aimed at speeding up notebooks for OEMs.
The PC SN720 is offered in M.2, 2280, 2242, 2230, form factors in capacities up to 512GB. The PC SN520 is M.2 only but can be pushed up to 1TB capacity.
Both devices are continuing to blur the lines between the company's former brands - with the NVMe cards that would have been offered under the Sandisk or HGST logos now being offered as Western Digital.
The HGST name appears to be being phased out, though when we put that to the WD team at MWC they said that it was not the case for the foreseeable, but rather that there is a phased approach to transferring.
Sandisk will continue as a consumer brand, with G-Technologies continuing its Mac-first status.
The company also had a proof of concept PCI-e card on the stand, which the company is touting as the future for its flash business. With MWC 2019 and 2020 likely to be all about 8K video, the third generation card is capable of 985MB/s which is likely to keep it futureproof for the moment at least, though miniaturising and commercialising the tech is still a few years out. µ
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