by Al Sacco

SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Memory Cards Expected Soon; Which BlackBerry Will Support Them?

Feb 25, 20093 mins
Data Center

Flash-memory-maker SanDisk earlier this month announced a new memory card production process that will enable the company to build new, higher capacity memory cards more quickly and more efficiently. Just six months ago, the company announced availability of its 16GB microSDHC card, which is currently the largest capacity microSD memory card on the market. If everything goes as planned, SanDisk could begin shipping 32GB microSDHC cards as early as this summer.

image of SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Card
SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Card

The new 32GB X3 on 32-nanometer (nm) process technology, which SanDisk developed along with Toshiba, allows the company to double the microSD card storage capacity without any increase in card size.

From a press release on the subject:

“The breakthrough introduction is expected to quickly bring to market advanced technologies that will enable greater capacities and reduce manufacturing costs for products ranging from memory cards to Solid State Drives (SSD).”

SanDisk expects production for the 32nm 32GB X3 to start in the second half of 2009, which means that 32GB microSDHC cards could ship in June.

Currently, any BlackBerry running Research In Motion (RIM) handheld OS v4.6 or later—think: Pearl Flip, Curve 8900, Bold 9000 and Storm 95xx—will support the 32GB microSDHC cards, according to RIM. So you ought to be able to put the new cards to use as soon as they’re available. Here’s a quick breakdown of what BlackBerry OS supports what memory cards:

Supported microSD Memory Card Sizes Based on BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry OS Version
Media Card Size Limit
BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.0Up to 2GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.1Up to 4GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.2Up to 4GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.3.0Up to 8GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.5.0Up to 8GB
BlackBerry Device Software and UpUp to 16GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.6.0 and laterUp to 32GB

A 32GB memory card for BlackBerry would be a significant blow to Apple, maker of the mega-popular iPhone and one of RIM’s biggest rivals, because the iPhone 3G’s only available in 8GB and 16GB models. The availability of more memory for storing multimedia and other data could be a big draw toward BlackBerry for potential smartphone buyers.

I can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be before SanDisk or another memory maker ups the ante to 64GB. And that begs the question of how much capacity RIM’s next handheld software release, v5.0, will support. (The BlackBerry 8325 “Gemini” is rumored to be the first RIM device to run BlackBerry handheld OS 5.0.) Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…



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