About a year and a half after the cessation of its Lexar consumer storage business, Micron is back in force with a series of microSD cards presented at the Mobile World Congress. The company believes that the memory card market is expected to expand and, as it now has the appropriate NAND memory type for these applications, the launch of its Micron brand microSD products is very sound.
The Micron c200 series microSD cards have a capacity of 128 GB to 1 TB and are based on the company's 96-layer QLC 3D NAND flash, as well as an in-house developed controller supporting ECC control based on on LDPC. The cards are designed for sequential write speed up to 100 MB / s and sequential read speed up to 95 MB / s (the 128 GB version may be a bit slower). Micron c200 cards also carry the SD Association A2 and V30 badges, which means that they offer random performance of at least 4,000 read IOPS and 2,000 IOPS write; support features such as command queuing, caching and self-maintenance, as well as a minimum write speed of 30MB / s .
Micron will announce detailed price and availability information for the c200 series sometime in the second quarter. At this point, the company makes no official commitment to return to the referral channel. However, retail is the most natural and easy way to sell microSD cards. It would therefore make perfect sense for Micron to partner with major retailers and retail chains.
The manufacturer believes that QLC 3D memory provides the right balance of cost, performance, and reliability (associated with an appropriate controller) for consumer storage. In particular, Micron indicates that its 96-layer QLC 3D memory can support 1500 cycles of programming / erasing (with a particular controller), which should be sufficient for most user workloads.
At the same time, the market for high capacity microSD cards is expected to grow. According to IHS data cited by Micron, the total available market for memory cards of 128 to 1 TB capacity will reach $ 3.5 billion in 2021, compared to about $ 2.3 billion in 2019.