Print 26 comment(s) - last by huanglungfa.. on Dec 4 at 2:07 AM

JMicron could be the solution

Secure Digital (SD) and Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) flash memory cards are commonly used in devices like digital cameras, laptop computers, and camcorders. Their high capacity and low cost can be attributed to die shrinks as the pace of semiconductor technology moves forward.

SD cards have a maximum capacity of 4GB, while SDHC cards can go up to 32GB. Although this may seem like an extreme size, high-definition camcorders and digital photography enthusiasts have been pushing for a new format with higher maximum capacities and faster transfer speeds.

The industry answered earlier this year at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show with the Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) format, which has a maximum theoretical capacity of 2TB and could eventually reach speeds as high as 300 MB/s.

Although there were many promises made, there aren't really any SDXC cards that you can buy. A large part of the problem is due to the old chicken and egg paradigm; no one wants to produce a large, expensive, niche product if there are no SDXC card readers that can support the new format.

The SDXC format allows for backwards compatibility, meaning that readers should be able to use older SDHC, SD, and MMC cards. Development work has been slow, and the big push for products supporting SDXC won't occur until next year. The first wave of products will show up at this year's CES.

Many of those products will integrate SDXC card readers made by JMicron through a PCIe bus. JMicron's SDHC readers are commonly used in the industry and integrated into laptops, mobile phones, and digital cameras.

JMicron is also working on a standalone card reader that will be pluggable into a USB 3.0 slot. The company states that "PCIe or USB 3.0 interfaces are needed to unleash the full potential" of SDXC cards. Ultimately, read and write speeds will be determined by the flash memory card manufacturer, just as it is for SDHC cards.

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fixing time..
By darkxuy on 11/24/2009 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
Although this may seem like an extreme size, high-definition camcorders and digital pornography enthusiasts have been pushing for a new format with higher maximum capacities...

done :)

RE: fixing time..
By PrinceGaz on 11/24/2009 1:35:04 PM , Rating: 5
Since when have pr0n movies needed to be longer than half an hour or so? If they haven't served their purpose after half an hour, I doubt an hour or so more is going to produce the desired result :p

RE: fixing time..
By mindless1 on 11/24/2009 2:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
That's fine for scene 1 .

RE: fixing time..
By AnnihilatorX on 11/26/2009 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
Again, this is only a debate over quality and quantity.
Some people would prefer quantity over quality really :P

Marketing department sexes up the name...
By Mr Perfect on 11/24/2009 1:08:58 PM , Rating: 1
Did they really need use the second letter of extended to make it SDXC? Seriuosly, what's wrong with SDEC? Did someone already use SDEC for something, or did they just have a focus group of 18 year olds...

By PrinceGaz on 11/24/2009 1:33:18 PM , Rating: 5
In computing, "extended" has been referred to in acronyms by the letter "X" for years, though usually because "E" had already been used for something else which actually began with the letter "E".

We had EGA (Enhanced Graphics Array) and the later XGA (Extended Graphics Array). There was also EMS (Expanded Memory) and XMS (Extended Memory). There may well be other examples but those are two obvious ones.

Essentially the word "Extended" is now pretty much associated with "X" rather than "E". So for me Secure Digital Extended Capacity just seems right as being SDXC. And of course, "X" is a lot sexier than "E" in an acronym :)

By huanglungfa on 12/4/2009 2:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Please visit YouTube for demo film about JMicron SDXC card reader IC, JMB389.

By mcnabney on 11/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Need
By CommodoreVic20 on 11/24/2009 11:23:22 AM , Rating: 5
No one needs more 640KB of system memory!

RE: Need
By mcnabney on 11/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Need
By nafhan on 11/24/2009 12:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
general consumer demand doesn't exist for it yet
And that's where you go wrong. The article itself specifically mentions professional level prodcuts. There are people who will pay for this. Consumer demand will come later, once prices come down and card readers become more common.
An inexpensive, backwards-compatible controller chip is going to go a long way towards bringing these to the consumer level.

RE: Need
By mcnabney on 11/24/2009 12:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
That niche market is already being met.

You must not use this technology because you are unaware of Compact Flash. SD is for consumers.

666x Compact flash transfers at 100MB/s
Compact flash support capacities up to 128GB

So the very-high-end professional market is already being met. SD is for consumers and that market is nowhere near this level of performance.

RE: Need
By nafhan on 11/24/2009 5:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm aware of CF. However, SD's physical form factor has advantages over CF, including size and lack of easily breakable pins in the device (I hate pins).
SDHC is already making headway into low end SLR's and - with higher speeds and capacities - it's likely that SDXC will continue the transition from CF to SD in the professional space.

RE: Need
By CurseTheSky on 11/24/2009 11:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree; I was just recently looking at 32GB SDHC cards, and I would love something with higher capacity / transfer speed to use as a storage drive in my notebook.

They're extremely handy anywhere that physical size is very limited. Adding a second internal hard drive isn't possible on my UL30A, and portable hard drives, even 2.5" units, are sometimes too bulky to take everywhere.

RE: Need
By mcnabney on 11/24/2009 12:19:41 PM , Rating: 1
You can buy a 32GB card right now that has a transfer rate of 30MB/s. Buy one of those if you need the speed. FYI - those cards cost about DOUBLE (just under $200) what a standard 32GB card does. Are you really in the market for a $400 64GB card that supports SATA2/3 speeds? I imagine that 99% of consumers would rather buy two $75 32GB moderate speed cards if they really need that much room.

RE: Need
By CurseTheSky on 11/24/2009 1:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
The post (below) by Hulk explains my feelings pretty well.

Maybe it would be $400 for a 64GB card at release, but that won't last long. Within a year (maybe two at the most?) I'd expect to be able to buy that same card for half the original price, or less.

If in 3 years I could buy a 128GB SDXC card with excellent transfer rates (equal to or rivaling current SSDs) for the same price we're currently playing for SSDs, I'd be ecstatic. Why? Because they take up a fraction of the room of a 2.5" Solid State Disk.

RE: Need
By mindless1 on 11/24/2009 2:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
That used to be true but we haven't seen this kind of halving of price over the last yearly period have we? Seems like mobile devices and SSDs are reducing the flash chip glut.

RE: Need
By Hulk on 11/24/2009 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 3
The trend in the electronics industry for the past 50 or more years has been that new products are introduced to the marketplace in low quantities and high prices. There are always some early adopters willing to pay to have the latest and greatest.

Eventually costs go down as productions ramps up. That's how it works. So if you just say "no need" based on your needs then we'll never have affordable new products in the market. Think about it.


CD Players
DVD Players
BD Players (look to be catching on)
CD and DVD burners for computers
Flat screen monitor/TV technology

If someone said "no need" when a 40" $15,000 flat screen TV was about to be introduced then we'd probably be set back 5 years or more in flat screen TV/monitor technology and pricing.

Finally, I have an HD camcorder and would like a faster card for card to PC transfers. Also as recording bitrates go up for newer cameras more capacity would be welcome.

Thank you and good night.

RE: Need
By The0ne on 11/24/2009 11:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
No worries, the tech is there to produce higher capacities. It just needs market demand to get them out and cheaper. Hoping for the 1TB flash soon :D

RE: Need
By Fritzr on 11/25/2009 5:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
4 slot SDXC chassis with SATA connector for SSD with 4 2TB cards gives a laptop an 8TB "hard drive".

Might take a day or two to back up, but it would be a week or two before you run low on space :P

Replacement of worn out memory modules becomes plug and play :)

For now I'll take it with 4x128GB to replace the 120MB HD shipped with my lappy. I'm sure I can find some way to use the extra space. Not sure of the speed, but the low power consumption would do just fine.

RE: Need
By Motoman on 11/24/2009 11:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
Need is subjective. Doing professional/prosumer photography, capturing images in RAW formats so you can twiddle them later more effectively can really suck up storage space. My wife can fill an 8Gb card in an afternoon with no problem.

RE: Need
By mcnabney on 11/24/2009 12:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
I would probably burn through three or four batteries on my 1Dmk3 before I could fill a 32GB card with RAW files. In fact, I only have fast 8GB cards since I generally swap the battery and card at the same time.
Remember, my mark3 is 21 megapixels and makes 25MB files. That means a 32GB card will hold more than 1200 images. You can't say there is a real market demand for a card that hold 2400 images? The only thing that really needs more is 4K video, and that is still a year or two away from a general public.

RE: Need
By futrtrubl on 11/24/2009 1:52:02 PM , Rating: 3
You must have an extra special 1Dmk3 then since it's a 10.1 MP camera, even the mk4 is only 16.1MP.

RE: Need
By ksherman on 11/24/2009 12:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
For sure! Especially now that many dSLRs are doing 1080p video as well. In one evening, between stills and video, I filled 2 8GB cards completely and was most of the way through my third.

RE: Need
By mcnabney on 11/24/2009 12:49:06 PM , Rating: 1
And are still nowhere near the 32GB SDHC limit. And since you are using 8GB cards (best price point!) I really doubt you are in the market for high capacity and high speed storage.
Right now you can buy 64GB, 90MB/s Compact Flash cards. Oh, and they cost about $650. Clearly not in the consumer, or even prosumer, category.

RE: Need
By fishman on 11/25/2009 7:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
Using the highest quality settings on my camcorder, a 80 minute soccer game can take up to 14GB of filespace. I'm glad that I've got a 120GB hard drive.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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