There are faster cards out there, but those are UHS-II-flavored models not supported in most smartphones. SanDisk managed to increase UHS-I speeds using parent Western Digital's 3D NAND tech, it said. It also notes that the cards are shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof and x-ray-proof, according to its internal tests. That'll make it ideal for things like drone, diving and wildlife photography, or just filming your cat in super-slow-motion.
Western Digital also demonstrated an experimental SD card based on PCIe technology that's normally only found in computers. The increased bandwidth lets it read data at a stunning 880 MB/s and write at 430 MB/s, putting most SATA-based SSDs to shame. That would be very useful for, say, recording RAW 4K or 8K video on DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.
That's still a distant dream, but it could happen one day. The SD Card Association is pushing the industry to adopt PCIe as a standard for next-generation storage so that speeds will keep climbing. Planned next-generation UHS-III cards will hit 624 MB/s max, but PCIe 3.0 would easily top it at 985 MB/s.
Camera and other manufacturers aren't yet convinced about changing to a a completely different standard, however. So, you can view Western Digital's 880 MB/s SD PCIe demo is one part research experiment and another part industry persuasion.