Memory card standard could provide up to 2TB on SD cards

A 2TB SD card could hold 100 high-definition movies or 60 hours of HD recordings.

The SD Association unveiled a new SD card specification last week at the 2009 International CES that it said can support data storage capacities of up to 2TB with read/write speeds to 104MB/sec. The specification, called SDXC (eXtended Capacity), uses Microsoft's exFAT file system to support the large capacity and interoperability in a broad range of PCs, consumer electronics and mobile phones.

"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," Shigeto Kanda, general manager at Canon, said in a statement. "That capacity, combined with the exFAT file system, increases movie recording time and reduces starting time to improve photo-capturing opportunities."

The SD Association, which sets standards for Secure Digital technology, was founded by Panasonic, SanDisk and Toshiba.

According to Joseph Unsworth, research director for NAND Flash Semiconductors at Gartner Inc., SDXC's higher capacity roadmap and faster transfer speeds will make NAND flash memory technology a more compelling choice for portable memory storage and interoperability.

According to the SD Association, a 2TB card could store 100 high-def movies or 60 hours of HD recording.

"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," Unsworth said.

James Taylor, president of the SD Association, said SDXC will allow consumers to quickly download higher quality content to their phones, including games, video and music.

"The SD interface already has proven itself valuable in mobile phones. Now, SDXC memory card capabilities will spur further handset sophistication and boost consumer content demand," he said.

SDXC accelerates SD interface read/write speeds to 104MB/sec this year, with a road map to 300MB/sec., the SD Association stated. "Improvements in interface speed allow further increases in continuous [camera] 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," Kanda said.

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