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SDXC cards will be available in capacities up to 2TB

The Secure Digital (SD) format has come a long way since its original inception. Originally conceived as an offshoot of the Multimedia Card (MMC) format, SD cards have matured over the years into the Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) versions that are prevalent today for capacities greater than 2GB.

Current SDHC cards are artificially limited to just 32GB, which means that a new standard is being ushered in to boost capacities into the stratosphere. As a result, the new Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) format was introduced today at CES. SDXC cards have a theoretical maximum capacity of 2TB and theoretical maximum read/write speeds of 300MB/sec.

The first SDXC cards will hit the market during the first quarter of 2009; however, these first generation cards will have a maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/sec.

"SDXC combines a higher capacity roadmap with faster transfer speeds as a means to exploit NAND flash memory technology as a compelling choice for portable memory storage and interoperability," said Gartner's Joseph Unsworth, research director, NAND Flash Semiconductors. "With industry support, SDXC presents manufacturers with the opportunity to kindle consumer demand for more advanced handset features and functionality in consumer electronics behind the ubiquitous SD interface."

"SDXC is a large-capacity card that can store more than 4,000 RAW images, which is the uncompressed mode professionals use, and 17,000 of the fine-mode most consumers use. That capacity, combined with the exFAT file system, increases movie recording time and reduces starting time to improve photo-capturing opportunities," said Canon General Manager Shigeto Kanda. "Improvements in interface speed allow further increases in continuous shooting speed and higher resolution movie recordings. As a memory card well suited to small-sized user-friendly digital cameras, the SDXC specification will help consumers realize the full potential of our cameras."

We should expect to first seeing SDXC cards from the usual suspects such as SanDisk, Lexar, and Kingston. SDXC will more than likely carry a hefty premium over current SDHC cards, but expect to see that price differential close with time.

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JUST 104 MB/s
By Goty on 1/7/2009 12:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
...however, these first generation cards will have a maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/sec.

Well darn, that's just not fast enough for me....


RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 1:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
That might sound fast, but if you actually had a 2TB drive using that interface speed, it would take probably a whole day to read or write the entire flash drive. I don't think too many users would be pleased with that kind of speed.

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By Doormat on 1/7/2009 1:12:26 PM , Rating: 6
For the math impaired...

104MB/s = 6.2GB/min = 374GB/hr = 2TB in 5.3 hours

A 3x improvement brings the time down to 1.76 hours to read all 2TB.

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 3:00:35 PM , Rating: 3
The 104MB/s is only "peak" or "maximum" data transfer rate. The actual sustained transfer rate will be much slower, hence my "whole day" approximation.

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 11:26:38 PM , Rating: 1
For the math impaired...
That post gets a 6? The post where the guy gets the math right but the concept completely wrong?

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/7/2009 1:41:00 PM , Rating: 2

Well... tell me how many hard drives have the ability to write constantly at no less than 100mb/sec.

And the article says that the first sdxc cards will work at that speed, but it says nothing about the size they'll have, and I'd bet they'll be nowhere nere 2tbs.

People, remember this is just a specification... I think that before or as soon as those 2TB, 300mb/s cards come into production, an SDUXC card standard will be replacing this one.

For now, we simply have little use for a card with such a high reading speed:

An USB2.0 high speed SDXC reader will be flooded before reaching its 60mb/s max theoretical speed (480mbits/sec).

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 3:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
My point, which I think you understood, is that there is a mismatch in the specification between the maximum permitted media size and the maximum transfer rate. It doesn't improve the utility of the product much to increase one and not the other.

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By Black69ta on 1/8/2009 12:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
USB 3.0 Spec is already finalized and due sometime this year. I can't remember the throughput but is seems like its well over what would be needed for an external drive or a flash drive. I think it is faster than SATA 6.0Gbs

RE: JUST 104 MB/s
By lordcheeto on 1/10/2009 12:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
USB 3.0 is about 10x fater than USB 2.1, or 4.8 gigabits per second.

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