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What's the life expectancy of an SD card?

I have been told this before that an SD card has a max of 10k writes and 100k reads, but I can't seem to find any information on it.

Is there a limit to the number of times you can read/write to an SD card?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 3 '10 at 6:31

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marked as duplicate by DragonLord, Nifle, Sathya Sep 21 '11 at 16:38

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on flash memory technology, which depends on the manufacturer. Taken from the "SanDisk SD Card Product Manual":

SanDisk SD cards have an endurance specification for each sector of 100,000 writes typical (reading a logical sector is unlimited).

Therefore, extremely heavy use of the card in cellular phones, personal communicators, pagers and voice recorders will use only a fraction of the total endurance over the device’s lifetime. For instance—it would take over 10 years to wear out an area on an SD Card based on a file of any size (from 512 bytes to maximum capacity) being rewritten 3 times per hour, 8 hours a day, 365 days per year.

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Thank you, that was the information I was looking for. –  Steven smethurst Jul 2 '10 at 20:17
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At least SanDisk gives you lifetime warranty so they probably have quite a bit trust in their products. For normal use it very likely won't matter.

But yes, Flash memory has a limited number of write cycles. Wear levelling spreads writes over the card so you won't have any hot spots that wear out too early.

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Suggest moving to another community, such as ServerFault/SuperUser.

You would be concerned with "memory wear". This is a limitation not specific to SD cards alone, but to the memory technology itself, to include Compact Flash, and other SSD's, for example.

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"You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here..." –  glowcoder Jul 2 '10 at 20:05
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