Western Digital Unveils microSD Card Optimized for Analytics at Network Edge

The WD Purple Ultra Endurance microSD card is said to bring advanced 96-layer 3D NAND technology to security and edge storage cameras.

SAN JOSE, Calif., – Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) has introduced the WD Purple SC QD101 Ultra Endurance microSD card, addressing the increasing need to optimize storage for security cameras that perform video analytics and machine learning at the network edge.

The company also announced a new addition to its hard disk drive portfolio. The WD Purple 14TB HDD for surveillance is said to be compatible with a wide range of security systems.

In the announcement, Western Digital cites market research from IHS Markit Technology that shows global professional video surveillance camera shipments are expected to grow from 140 million to 224 million between 2018 and 2023, and those with onboard storage are expected to grow by an average of approximately 17% percent annually.

4K-compliant cameras are expected to grow from 3.6% of all network cameras shipped in 2018 to more than 24% percent by 2023. The 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080p video illustrates a fast-growing demand for more storage, according to the company.

“Customers are looking for high-endurance, high-capacity, robust, on-camera storage for a variety of public safety and AI analytics use cases,” states Stefaan Vervaet, senior director of Smart Video, Devices Group, Western Digital. “These new products deliver optimized storage technology to handle these exciting new and varied visual workloads at the edge.”

The company’s WD Purple portfolio of storage devices are said to be designed with specifically-chosen attributes to deliver reliable performance in mainstream security video systems that operate 24/7. These purpose-built solutions offer high quality and long-lasting storage for workloads that consumer microSD cards and desktop-grade hard drives are not specifically designed for, according to the company.

The WD Purple SC QD101 microSD card features Western Digital’s advanced 96-layer 3D NAND technology. Designed for security system integrators and installers, the new offering is said to deliver a cost-effective combination of ultra endurance for long, continuous recording and high-performance storage. Features include:

  • Ideal for mainstream recording and backup/failover on-camera storage
  • In compatible cameras, the card health monitor provides integrators and installers with the ability to gauge the remaining endurance and preemptively service the card if needed
  • Available in capacities of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB

Demands placed on storage are becoming ever more acute as end users are increasingly retaining video data to perform video analytics and for machine learning applications, such as recognizing situations and circumstances and even behaviors, Western Digital Product Director Brian Mallari explained to SSI.

Analyzing video data in a retail store environment to create heat maps is one example. Heat mapping allows retailers to understand where customers walk within a store and therefore better understand how customer behavior translates into purchases. As retail managers study this data, they can see which product placements are working and which aren’t.

“What we’re seeing is basically an evolution and move from video surveillance to using these same cameras for what we call smart video or business intelligence, opposed to just surveillance applications,” Mallari says. “So with that there is a growing need for storage, not only in the back end, in the recorder or even in the servers or in the Cloud, but actually on the camera itself.”

Western Digital is emphasizing “cost-effective” with the introduction of the WD Purple SC QD101 Ultra Endurance microSD card in hopes of steering integrators away from less expensive retail options. Mallari says too often integrators select less expensive retail microSD cards without considering the endurance needs for video surveillance systems.

“We wanted a card that had a fixed endurance with a card health-monitoring capability, which means you can actually enter the IP address of the camera and if that camera is compatible with the card health monitor it can report back to you,” he explains. “We spend a lot of time trying to educate customers about endurance. You can go through many, many retail cards, but you can just buy one Purple microSD card.”

Previously, the line of Purple microSD cards have been too relatively expensive, Mallari says, given the cards’ extreme endurance. “So we wanted something a little bit more mainstream. That’s why we’re calling it the Ultra Endurance card. We hope that it delivers a better value proposition than what we’ve offered in the past and we can get away from using retail cards, which is a big no-no.”

The company announced the WD Purple SC QD312 Extreme Endurance microSD card at ISC West in April. The new WD Purple SC QD101 microSD card is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020.

The 14TB WD Purple HDD is available now from select resellers. Like other WD Purple hard drives, the new addition to the portfolio is built for 24/7, always-on, high-definition security systems.

The new 14TB WD Purple HDD features the company’s exclusive AllFrame technology driving improved video capturing while it helps to reduce errors, pixilation and video interruptions that could happen in a video recorder system. WD Purple drives have an enhanced workload rating that supports systems designed for 24×7 video recording with up to 64 cameras.

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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