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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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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.


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