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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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RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By Aeonic on 1/7/2009 12:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at NewEgg, I don't see any over 4GB. I think you can get 8GB, but we won't see 2TB cards for awhile :)

The thing is, the current specification, SDHC, has a theoretical max capacity of 2TB, but they limited it artificially (as the article noted). So this really isn't news, they just removed the artificial limit, and manufactures are now "allowed" to make bigger cards.

There's no tech breakthrough or anything as far as I can tell. Not that I don't enjoy the idea of a 2TB SD card :)

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By MozeeToby on 1/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By ChronoReverse on 1/7/2009 12:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how it could get smaller than the current MicroSD format and still be useful. SD, MiniSD, and MicroSD basically hits all the useful size formats.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By defter on 1/7/2009 12:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
32GB have been available for a while, for example here:

It was quite silly to limit SDHC to 32GB, that's only 16x capacity of a standard 2GB SD format. SDXC offers 64x capacity jump, so it's a bit better.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By Chernobyl68 on 1/7/2009 1:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this just looks like a "standard" being announced. How physically big would a card be today, that was 2TB? A Terabyte is at least 2 orders of magnitude larger than most SD cards or on the market. (neweggs largest today is 6GB) but flash drives are bigger, up to 64GB so far I think. I use flash drives more than the cards themselves.
It will be more than a few years to see anything close to a terabyte in a SD card.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By surt on 1/7/2009 1:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
I bought two 16GB sdhc from new egg in the last 6 months, both more than 2 months ago. Only $40 too, pretty cheap.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By Jimbo1234 on 1/7/2009 1:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, 4GB can be had for about $7, 8GB for under $14, and 16GB for about $27.

Thye're all about the same for $/GB: cheap! 32GB at $128 gets more expensive.

I remember when I bought a 3GB HD for $300 in '97. Isn't technology great? Now if car prices scaled like that, we'd all be driving Bugattis.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By Spectator on 1/7/2009 2:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
Compare those stats with SSD storage. lol

if silicon + profit for 16GB (Wafer thin tech) = $27. how can intel possibly defend $600 ish for a 60gig SSD thats massive in comparrison.

Im guessing the Milking times are getting shorter in this new age.

just wait until smart ppl's work out how to program I7 cpu's default settings with all those nice pins on the top of the chip.

Fun times ahead for slow/arrogant/greedy tech providers. :)

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By knifesideleft on 1/7/2009 3:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it at least 6x the cost per gb? Why are we not all just throwing a bunch of SDHC cards together and running our computers on them? Why does the x-25m need all that extra hardware?

Well the write/read speeds are one. A good portion of cheap sdhc cards cant even write over 20 MB/s. The Intel drive can do something like 170. Normal hard drives can do between 70 and 100.

I also know it needs extra hardware to manage that data. Once instance that comes to mind is that flash can only be written a certain number of times before it wears out. This is ok for flash cards but hard drives can make small changes 100s of times. This drive would wear out in no time so it manages the writes in such a way that writes data evenly to make it last longer.

Its pretty new tech anyway which has considerable Research and Dev costs so they need to be sold for a premium to make back some of those costs.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By DragonMaster0 on 1/7/2009 3:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
The price of these cards really falls down. I bought a Patriot Memory 16GB SDHC card for ~$150 in Dec 2007. I got another one a few months ago for $40, and it now costs about $25.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By RamarC on 1/7/2009 2:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at NewEgg, I don't see any over 4GB. I think you can get 8GB

there are a few 32GB SDHC cards for $100+. 16GB cards are fairly common and only $30.

the specification is limited to 32GB for compatibility and considered the practical limitations at the time the spec was issued some years ago.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By DragonMaster0 on 1/7/2009 4:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
the specification is limited to 32GB for compatibility

*cough* FAT32 *cough* (Windows isn't able to format FAT32 partitions over 32GB large, even though the file system supports 2TB)

They talk about "exFAT" for the new cards, does Windows support it?

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 4:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
exFAT is supported in Vista SP1.

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By kensiko on 1/7/2009 9:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
Fat32Format :)

RE: 2Tb on an SD stick...
By Darkk on 1/8/2009 11:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
It is true Windows won't let you format a large hard drive in FAT32. However, you can use 3rd party software to format any size hard drive in FAT32. I have seen a 500GB hard drive formatted this way as a single partition and it works fine. Problem is FAT32 can't handle extreme large files such as 6gigs.

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