back to article Samsung unveils hardened SD card that can last 16 years if you treat it right

Samsung has dished up a new variety of SD card that can, it claims, sustain 16 years of continual writes. The Korean giant's calculations for the longevity of the PRO Endurance Memory Card – for that is the new tech's name – assume their use to record 1920×1080 video content at 26Mbit/sec (3.25MB/sec). At that rate, the 256GB …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    >they'll work at between 25°C and 85°C

    So hopefully in a week or two it'll be warm enough to use these in England then?

    Or was that *minus* 25°C?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Its tropical memory designed for use at +/- 10 degrees latitude.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Typo.

      Yeah minus 25. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong, please, so we can fix it right away.

      C.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Typo.

        I know I know, it would have been more respectful* of me to email the correction. However, I made my post in the spirit of chuckling with the editor at a human oversight we're all capable of making, not laughing at them.

        *Respect. Which is of course a cherished Vulture value. (Albeit a value that occasionally has a minus sign in front of it)

  2. twellys

    Typo: It's -25°C

    [Unless Samsung knows more than us about climate change...!]

    1. twellys

      Ah, Dave 126 beat me to the punch!

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    over engineered?

    I wonder how many video cameras are designed to last for the lifetime of this card?

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: over engineered?

      Before Covid my dash cams tended to last 2 winters before needing to be replaced.

      Memory cards tended to be a year, but when replacing I would always opt for more storage anyway.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: over engineered?

        My first dashcam lasted a couple of years. My second one is still going after three as I don't leave it in the car on hot sunny days having learned from the short life of the first one. I've used the same SD card for all those three years.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: over engineered?

          Where as I leave it on the windscreen all year round, however I opted for one which had a capacitor rather than a battery (Viofo a129 for myself currently which with Covid is at least 3 years old).

          My first dash cam the battery did puff up, still worked although I cut the battery out until I replaced it.

          However the other failures were actually the camera sensors (Where the recordings would start to have blank spots), I also had those on 24/7 as at the time I parked in the road.

    2. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

      Re: over engineered?

      We've got Mobotix M10 CCTV cameras on our walls at school that have been there for about 15 years, they've still got the same 2gb SD cards on board that from the day they were installed.

      They were all working last Friday when I had to search the cards for an incident that lunchtime...

  4. Tromos
    Joke

    "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

    Just don't attempt any reads.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

      Hey, how did you know about our backup policy?

      1. bpfh Silver badge

        Re: "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

        That does not mean one backup in 16 years, mmkay?

    2. badflorist

      Re: "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

      Not joking, I'd prefer 16 years of solid read performance. Even farther, if I could choose between extending read capability by sacrificing write capability, I would.

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

        With SD read is implicitly more than writes. Its writes that knacker your SD cards and SDDs

        1. sreynolds Silver badge

          Re: "can sustain 16 years of continual writes."

          Totally the opposite of Quantum computing where the writing is just fine its just the reading that ends up being random shit.

  5. Wade Burchette

    This will be perfect for my new Samsung S22 phone!

    Oh, wait. It no longer has a microSD card slot.

  6. Sp1z

    "or body cameras"

    That means they'll last until the heat death of the universe on US cops.

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmmm

    My dashcam has a basic 32GB Class 10 uSD card, I think it might be Verbatim.

    My dashcam writes some weird incarnation of MJPEG, managing to dump around 300GB/minute.

    It's been going for three years now.

    I have to periodically reformat the card because the part that is on the way out is the little battery that allows the camera to shut itself down cleanly. So, yeah, the card has coped with hundreds (if not thousands) of gigabytes being written nonstop (when in use, including that night I forgot to turn it off!) and has outlasted the little internal Lipo cell... And that's just a regular domestic thing bought in a supermarket.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      There are still dash cams with Motion Jpeg!

      My last one the memory card lasted a year (Integral memory card I believe).

    2. bpfh Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      At 300 gb per minute, I'm surprised that the on board hardware is able to keep up as that filling the card in less than 6 seconds!

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        Yeah, my bad. Autocorrect decided I meant gigabytes and I didn't notice until I looked at My Posts and thought "somebody will have noticed". ;)

        Still, 300 megs a minute is pretty poor. That said, it's 5MB per second, and if a frame rate of 25fps, it's about 200KB or so per image. Freaky how quickly it adds up.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    capable of surviving a five-meter fall

    Given the micro-sd or even the normal sd form factor and weight, isn't that more a a flutter than a fall from five meters? Like a leaf falling from a tree in a particularly wet autumn?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      I thought that was an odd spec too. It ought to survive a fall from any altitude as it will not reach a high enough speed to damage it even on concrete. I have just lobbed a couple of SD cards out of the second floor window and you would never know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

        Well, of course not, you just lost them.

    2. Jim Mitchell

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      There is probably an actual max acceleration/deceleration number that somebody has helpfully converted to human understandable units. What is the official El Reg unit for this, anyways?

    3. Teejay

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      I would also think that air resistance and the total size make five meters seem very little. In a vacuum, perhaps.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      I think there's a BOFH story in here, testing the 5m distance while tied to the average boss.

    5. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      Perhaps Samsung test guys only had access to a single story building, and couldn't get higher?

      In vacuum a 5m drop means a terminal velocity of 35 km/h which would be quite a bump for the card.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

        I think it will just be velocity, not so much terminal. Even if you add a sheep.

        :)

    6. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      For a good manufacturer, this would mean that it survives the thing it's in falling five meters, where it doesn't get to have any air resistance and has a lot more momentum conserved through it. I'm guessing that's not what they meant, especially as calculating exactly how much stress the card took is tricky because every device will have a different impact.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

      Yes but if you drop a tonne of bowling balls and a tonne of SD cards they will hit the ground at he same time.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: capable of surviving a five-meter fall

        " if you drop a tonne of bowling balls and a tonne of SD cards they will hit the ground at he same time"

        Only in a vacuum or if the SD cards are bound up in a large 1-tonne package, yes. If it's 1000kg of SD cards (at 2 g each that's 1/2 million of them!!!) that are just dumped loosely they will have a lot of air resistance and will hit the ground after the bowling balls

  9. AJames

    Samsung already sells a "Pro Endurance" card

    Samsung has sold "Pro Endurance" cards for some time here in Canada at least (see amazon.ca). The 128 Gbyte card is rated for 5 years of writes, so with this new improved technology that would presumably be 8 years. Is Samsung just announcing slightly improved technology under the same "Pro Endurance" name?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Samsung already sells a "Pro Endurance" card

      Don't worry, some marketing executive will soon add words like 'Ultra' to it to tell them apart. There's no possible way to prevent that short of using those people physically for the 5m drop test.

  10. Mr Dogshit

    16 years?

    I hadn't planned on living that long.

  11. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    Another use...

    How long would it last as the "system disk" in a Pi?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets say it does last 16 years, how do we even know SD cards are still going to be a thing? Just because they are ubiquitous now doesn't mean something isn't going to replace them. I can think of a few from before. xD/MS/Compact flash off the top of my head.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      16 years ago

      Floppies were still a thing. I built a WinBox which had a floppy drive specifically to load certain drivers on installing XP, particularly the drivers for the optical drive, which for some reason didn’t ship on CD.

      Hell, optical drives were still a thing. When was the last time that you saw either a floppy or an optical drive on a new laptop? Looks at BluRay burner attached to laptop via _two_ USB plugs…

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: 16 years ago

        >particularly the drivers for the optical drive, which for some reason didn’t ship on CD.

        Erm ....

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: 16 years ago

        "When was the last time that you saw either a floppy or an optical drive on a new laptop?"

        Floppy: it's been a long time. Optical: last year. A few large laptops still include them. I avoided those models as it's a lot of weight for a feature I'll use once a year. I understand that there are people who use them more often, but for the rate I use them, a USB one is fine. I'd prefer another drive bay, larger battery, or just a smaller laptop.

      3. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 16 years ago

        About 6 years ago I was looking for a new case for my home PC, and spent ages finding one that had all the features I wanted, the most tricky being a 5.25" bay for an optical drive, as they were already being phased out then.

        Since then I've used the optical drive about ten times, and I would have saved myself quite a bit of time (and money) by getting a different case and a USB optical drive.

  13. Mayday Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Curiously, the warranties offered for the cards fall well short of their rated lifespans"

    It really will last that long, honestly!

    1. jmch Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "Curiously, the warranties offered for the cards fall well short of their rated lifespans"

      Reminds me of BMW, Mercedes etc going on about their superior quality, but refusing to offer warranties as long as Hyundai or Kia

    2. David Hicklin

      Re: "Curiously, the warranties offered for the cards fall well short of their rated lifespans"

      Still amuses me how they can claim such a life for something that has just been developed..I mean like how can they really know*

      * yeah I know, simulated testing and all that but still...............

  14. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Crap gadgets

    Everyone today knows that a feature doesn't exist if it isn't covered under warranty.

    Oh, it will be fixed with a future update? Does 'update' mean the next model for sale?. Or maybe the one after that... It's a top priority, I'm sure.

  15. Andy Non

    Solid state kit

    Surprising how long some of this stuff lasts. I've still got a USB stick that has dual capacity of 128 MB and 1.4 MB (emulating a floppy disk). It still works fine, must be getting on for 30 years old now. Expensive top of the range memory stick when I bought it.

  16. sreynolds Silver badge

    The real test for any microSD card is the Snowden test...

    Lets just say where did he hide the microSD card when he was taking data from the NSA. Now everyone knows how well you are searched by the TSA, can you imagine how well the NSA would be searching employees?

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