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Toshiba 32GB and 16GB SDHC Cards  (Source: Toshiba)
Toshiba announces 32GB and 16GB SDHC memory cards along with a 8GB microSDHC card

Any DSLR camera owner can tell you that when it comes to shooting 10-to-12 megapixels or larger RAW format images, you need a giant memory card. Most of us might think the 8GB SDHC cards are still pretty big, but not Toshiba.

Toshiba (requires registration) announced they will have humongous 32GB and 16GB SDHC memory cards in the market soon. The Toshiba 32GB SDHC card, model SD-M32G, is set to be available in January 2008 and will be a class 4 speed card.

The 16GB SDHC card, model SD-M16G, will be available much sooner in October of 2007. The 16GB SDHC card will sell for about $350 when it hits market in October.

If you think that’s a lot of coin for a memory card wait untill you hear this, the 32GB SDHC card will retail for a cool $700. These SDHC cards will also be good choices for those with expandable PMP devices and phones using SDHC cards with the bank account balance to afford the high price. Toshiba also announced they intend to sell a 8GB microSDHC card starting in January 2008. Samsung also announced recently they are planning to market a 8GB microSDHC card.

Toshiba says the 32GB SDHC, 16GB SDHC and the 8GB microSDHC cards will all have the same 6MB/s maximum write speed and require 2.7-3.6V to operate. The class 4 specifications say these cards must each sustain a minimum 4MB/s write speed.

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Flash Cards...
By daftrok on 8/23/2007 7:19:30 PM , Rating: 5
SD Card: Anything you can do I can do better! I can do anything better than you!
Memory Stick: No you can't!

RE: Flash Cards...
By Gul Westfale on 8/23/2007 7:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
they all have more or less the same type of chip inside; they just use different form factors so company A can push its would-be standard, and company B can do the same. and then we have companies C through F...

RE: Flash Cards...
By Oregonian2 on 8/23/2007 9:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
Except that Memory Stick is probably right. Standard SD cards stop at 2Gb afaik. SDHC cards that start at 4GB really are a completely different card with the same physical form factor. SDHC cards are completely non-compatible with things that use just SD cards. Digital cameras (etc) need to be specifically made for SDHC cards for them to work (different data transfer interface on the connector I understand). Memory sticks don't have that interface redesign compatibility issue.

RE: Flash Cards...
By dude on 8/24/2007 1:43:38 AM , Rating: 3
True, SDHC cards only work on devices that specifically support it. Most newer cameras already have this support so it shouldn't be an issue if you're buying or bought a new one during 2007.

But what good is your Memory Stick if it only works on primarily Sony devices?

Why limit yourself to Sony devices when the competition has a wide support of devices?

RE: Flash Cards...
By Axbattler on 8/24/2007 4:35:46 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I would not let a storage format affect my choice on device. If I see a Sony device I like, factoring the extra cost of the Memory Stick, I'll buy it. It's not like I need to replace a memory card every other month.

That's why I use xD card. In terms of performance, it is worst than the Memory Stick Duo and cost about the same price in the UK. But I happen to find the Fuji F-series of camera to do what I need to do. I also happen to find Sony Ericsson phones more usable than the alternatives by Nokia, Samsung, Motorola etc. So I ended up buying a Memory Stick Micro for so that I can store more music and pictures. That's all it is good for, and that is good enough to me.

Yes it would be nice if I wouldn't have to buy yet another card if I choose to buy a PDA that uses microSD. In practice though, I don't see myself swap the xD card out of my camera, nor the M2 out of my mobile phone on a third device. And by the time I retire the device that uses those memory card? I probably would want to sell them off and get a larger capacity card of whatever format the replacement device use. It's nice to have a format with lots of support and a few quid cheaper - but I think there are bigger factors in choosing a device.

RE: Flash Cards...
By Oregonian2 on 8/24/2007 1:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy the flash device until I've ALREADY bought (or ordered) the device that it's going into! I don't just buy them on sale then keep them in a drawer until I've some use for them. Sony, for instance, is the number two maker of digital cameras (after Canon). They make a lot of cameras. They make other things that use them too. Not like it's a tiny niche (and ones I personally get usually are Sandisk brand, which I think are manufactured by Toshiba in a deal they have with them). I recently bought a 4GB SDHC card, but it was for a Panasonic FX100 that I had already ordered for my Wife -- just as I've recently purchased some 4GB memory sticks (Duo Pro) for a couple Sony W200's that I have on order. Would it be better if all used the same stuff? Sure, but pragmatically speaking "it's not a problem". And even less so as flash gets cheaper and cheaper.

I've read major complaints of folk buying SDHC cards only to find that they don't work in their SD using things (into which it'll fit perfectly) and not have it work. They'll even put in a bad review for the device on websites even though it wasn't the part's problem.

RE: Flash Cards...
By InsaneScientist on 8/24/2007 4:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
Anything that can handle an SDHC card can handle an SD card. They're not mutually exclusive.

The only real difference between the two is the file system used. SD uses FAT16 (maximum volume size of 2GB) whereas SDHC uses FAT32 (Max volume size of 8TB, in theory, in practice, 2TB, because of OS limitations)

Where you'll really need to worry about compatibility is if/when they transition to exFAT, which is incompatible with current FAT filesystems, from what I understand.

RE: Flash Cards...
By Oregonian2 on 8/24/2007 1:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Anything that can handle an SDHC card can handle an SD card. They're not mutually exclusive.

But the opposite is very not true. ONLY devices made specifically for the SDHC card can use them.

The only real difference between the two is the file system used. SD uses FAT16 (maximum volume size of 2GB) whereas SDHC uses FAT32 (Max volume size of 8TB, in theory, in practice, 2TB, because of OS limitations)

That is a difference, but not the only one. The electrical inteface (bus) also works differently. They're not electrically compatible in terms of the way data is passed. Else the SDHC card could be formatted to 2GB with FAT16 and still work -- but it doesn't work at all.

RE: Flash Cards...
By nomagic on 8/24/2007 5:35:42 AM , Rating: 4
The original Memory Stick came in sizes from 4 MB up to 128 MB. It was the "PRO" version that allowed theoretical maximum capacity of 32 GB. When Memory Stick PRO came out in 2003, it was not backward compatible with the old Memory Stick devices.

SDHC spec was introduced in 2006 to allow 2 GB+ capacity for SD cards. However, much like the transition of MS to MS PRO, SDHC cards are not compatible with the old SD devices.

RE: Flash Cards...
By CCRATA on 8/24/2007 4:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
Most SD devices can use SDHC cards though through a simple software upg. IE my digital camera only supported SD cards, but via a simple firmware upg I can now put sdhc cards in.

File systems?
By MetaDFF on 8/23/2007 7:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, what kind of file systems are they using in these digital cameras nowadays?

I'm guessing FAT32?

RE: File systems?
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 9:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
Most I've seen are FAT32.

RE: File systems?
By dude on 8/24/2007 1:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
Most I've seen only support FAT16.

RE: File systems?
By Oregonian2 on 8/24/2007 1:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
If the card is more than 2 GB it's probably FAT32. I know that's what SDHC cards use (which are 4GB minimum).

By Gul Westfale on 8/23/2007 7:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
after all the fuss over SSD hard drives, i must ask: how is a memory card different from an SSD? isn't an SSD merely a memory card with a SATA interface? if so, why are they so expensive?

RE: question
By jak3676 on 8/23/2007 8:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
for SSD's the memory is very similar but in a design geared for more bandwidth. SSD's also have on board logic to spread out the load in order to manage the number of write cycles per cell.

RE: question
By Gul Westfale on 8/23/2007 8:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
so in essence an SSD is an intelligent flash card?

RE: question
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 9:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
Both SSDs, as well as cards like those in this article, are "intelligent." They typically have small embedded processors that manage the flash array and implement the desired interface back to the equipment. Design-wise, they are pretty similar at a high level. The size and capacity are the main distinguishing differences.

By Kougar on 8/23/2007 8:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
Great to hear! Means one step closer to cheap 4GB microSD cards.

Of course I guess nanoSD will be in use by the time 4GB microSD hits <$30...

RE: Price/GB
By Anh Huynh on 8/23/2007 9:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
They already have 4GB microSDHC cards. Although your device supporting it is another question.

Soon we will have $20 4GB SD/microSD cards.

RE: Price/GB
By mdbusa on 8/23/2007 9:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it true that most mobile devices will not support 4gb
microSDHC cards without at least a firmware upgrade and possibly not at all?

Another reason to go out and buy the latest and greatest. then again i hve not seen any devices advertising support for 8 GB --coming soon

RE: Price/GB
By dude on 8/24/2007 1:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
NanoSD? I'm guessing it'll be the size of a hang-nail?

By Treckin on 8/23/2007 9:16:51 PM , Rating: 1
I think that the article is out of line calling these expensive...
Considering an average lens for an slr can run 5-10 thousand dollars...
700 dollars for memory which can store dozens of uncompressed images is cheap shit.
Also figure that film for a medium format slr can run 20-30 dollars a roll, than 700 bucks seems like a lot less...

RE: price
By Oregonian2 on 8/24/2007 1:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
Considering an average lens for an slr can run 5-10 thousand dollars...

You may be able to find an SLR lens that goes for that much, but "average" isn't anywhere near that!

RE: price
By Oregonian2 on 8/24/2007 1:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
Also figure that film for a medium format slr can run 20-30 dollars a roll, than 700 bucks seems like a lot less...

MF cameras use either 120 or 220 film. Those films are only a few dollars a roll (2~5 or thereabouts). Been about a year since I bought my last batch from B&H, but it couldn't have gone up that much (and processing is only about $5 or so).

RE: price
By IGoodwin on 8/24/2007 2:16:18 PM , Rating: 3
Just curious about the comparison to film, and the cost...

Lets say, from your post, that buying and processing a 36 exposure file costs $7. Then you can use 100 rolls for the same prices as the memory. For comparison, that's 3600 images.

By my estimate, you can store 2730 12MB raw images on one 32GB card, not to mention compressed images, and reusability.

Doesn't appear quite so bad.

Instead, why not
By afkrotch on 8/25/2007 7:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of camera companies making cameras that use memory cards, why not create a wireless camera.

Imagine being able to take pictures and have them wirelessly stream the pictures to like...I don't know. A 30 gig Zune or other wireless storage.

A DSLR isn't small and everyone I've seen sporting one has a carry bag for it. Simply create a wireless camera and create a 40 to 200 gig wireless hdd to go with it. Also have about 2 gigs of onboard memory for the camera or a memory slot (for those who already have flash memory for it), just in case the batteries run out for the wireless hdd or your out of range from the hdd.

It'd be significantly more cost efficient than purchasing expensive memory cards.

RE: Instead, why not
By luhar on 8/27/2007 1:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
Several SLRs do allow wireless operation. However that means you have you need an access point within range. Great for a studio, not do great for shooting on location. There are also several tethered options that allow you to control the cameras from a laptop.

By bdewong on 8/23/2007 7:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me that the highest capacity devices usually command a premium over the next step model. With the 32 gig model being just twice the price of the model half its size, that seems like a pretty good deal.

I wonder...
By Souka on 8/24/2007 2:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the 8GB microSD will fit in a Motorola-Q or Blackberry 8820(sprint)?

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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