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Holy moly, SanDisk! 512GB memory card is biggest ever

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There was once a time when computer programs had to be split across several floppy disks and uncompressed WAV audio was considered so huge, it had to stay on the hard drive on which it was recorded. Long gone are those times and here are the days in which SanDisk is delivering a 512-GB secure digital card.

It's the nature of computing. While Intel has had its woes in cramming more processing power on top of increasingly smaller silicon wafers, SanDisk's success in packing the typical capacity of a solid state hard drive into an SD card attests to the overarching, telescopic nature of computing in general.

From SanDisk's point of view, 512-GB SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I was all about facilitating creativity for its clients and responding to the market's hunger for more space. Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty, whose company manufactures audio and video capture devices, says SanDisk's latest engineering feat will enable his organization's customers to fire RAW snapshots without having to worry about how many rounds are left in their camera's storage.

"Our Pocket Cinema Camera customers shoot in every type of circumstance and location, and get amazing, wide dynamic range RAW images capturing the brightest highlights and darkest shadows at the same time," says Petty. "The additional capacity of the SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I card will extend the creative freedom for our customers shooting in RAW and open up the ability to use wide dynamic range RAW files with even more productions."

With the world in the beginning phases of transitioning from HD to 4K, Dinesh Bahal, vice president of product marketing at SanDisk says the 3840 X 2160 resolution standard pushed his company to develop the 512-GB card.

"4K Ultra HD is an example of a technology that is pushing us to develop new storage solutions capable of handling massive file sizes," says Bahal. "The 512-GB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card is a tremendous advancement that enables professionals to reliably store more content on a single card than ever before."

As the Internet continues to shatter speedometers with faster and more reliable connections, consumers have been migrating local content to the cloud at rising rates.

Though the cloud connects users' entire ecosystems of devices to their digital libraries, many consumers aren't quite ready to store all of their files on remote servers, and maybe for good reason, according to John Delaney, a senior mobile analyst at IDC.

"So far there's still a strong preference for local storage," says Delaney. "People just feel more in control and more able to rely on being able to access the content when they literally know where it is. Storing in the cloud means you literally don't know where it is."

All that local storage won't be cheap -- the 512-GB Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I card will be available for $800. The SD card format, one of the most widely used standards of flash storage, is popular with digital cameras and camcorders. Depending on the type of camera, a 512 GB card could potentially hold around 30 hours of HD video. SanDisk says the card is meant for those who shoot 4K Ultra High Definition (3840x2160p) video, Full HD video (1920x1080) and high-speed burst mode photography.

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