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CES '09: 100 HD Movies on a Stamp-Sized Chip

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

If storing 100 HD movies on a SD card seems a little far-fetched, think again: the SD Association says it will be possible in 5 years!

The SD Association is labeling the new format as "SDXC," and according to the organization, the spec will be released in Q1 2009. The big deal with this new format is that it increases current storage capacities of 32 GB up to a whopping 2 TB. The format also increases SD interface read/write speeds up to 104 MB per second. Beyond that, the SD Association is shooting for 300 MB per second.

Of course, many consumers will ask just why anyone would need 2 terabytes of storage space on a single card. That's 2000 gigabytes of digital information. Five or ten years ago, consumers would have wondered why anyone would need Internet and TV on a cell phone, yet consumers of today can't seem to live without that luxury, now somewhat dependant on the technology. With SD cards capable of up to 2 TB of storage, consumers can store 100 HD movies, 480 hours of HD recording or 136,000 hi-res photos and more than 4,000 RAW images on one chip.

“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 Joseph Unsworth, research director, NAND Flash Semiconductors, at Gartner. “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.”

James Taylor, president of the SD Association (and not the songwriter), says that the new SDXC format will enable consumers to download higher quality content to their mobile phones and devices including games, video and music. SDXC will provide maximum speeds without hindering the high-speed performance necessary for high-end photography, even when the format reaches its 2 TB capacity. The initial shipment of SDXC cards will more than likely feature 64GB storage, doubling current SD card helpings.

Canon seems pretty stoked about the new format. "SDXC is a large-capacity card that can store more than 4,000 RAW images, which is the uncompressed mode professionals use. That capacity, combined with the exFAT file system, increases movie recording time and reduces starting time to improve photo capturing opportunities,” said Shigeto Kanda, general manager at Canon. “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."

The SD Association says that the new SDXC format uses Microsoft's exFAT file system, designed for increased compatibility with flash media. Established in January 2000, the organization itself includes over 1,100 technology companies including HP, SanDisk, Panasonic, and Toshiba.

Update (01/12/09) : Sorry guys, I removed the offending sentence from the article. Shouldn't happen in the future.--Tuan Nguyen

More from CES 2009

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  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2009 4:32 PM
    "Yeah baby. Portable porn just got easier!"

    Brilliant writing, pure journalism...
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2009 4:32 PM
    "Yeah baby. Portable porn just got easier!"

    Brilliant writing, pure journalism...
  • -3 Hide
    shachar2 , January 10, 2009 5:04 PM
    sd association is short sighted again and limits the future generation of SD cards to only 2TB.

    there's already a 1.5TB HD on sale by seagate 2TB limit isn't a sight to the future but solving a problem on the short run

    sd association sucks someone should be fired for this joke
  • 1 Hide
    knightmike , January 10, 2009 5:36 PM
    The memristor prototype by HP can store 100 GB per square centimeter and is 1/10 the speed of DRAM. Look up memristor on wikipedia for more information.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2009 5:49 PM
    Mishiza"Yeah baby. Portable porn just got easier!"

    Brilliant writing, pure journalism...


    I agree;Highly unprofessional!
    Companies should instantly fire an employee like that if they care about their appearance to the outsider... I mean, this is not a blog or forum where you would expect such a comments...
  • 4 Hide
    JTWrenn , January 10, 2009 5:54 PM
    Shachar2, you just compared a single SD chip to a hard drive....that is just plain stupid. You never need the same storage space on an SD as you do on an HD. Setting their sights any higher would be pointless and probably impractical price wise for this standard. Considering right now they only make 32gb chips, what makes you think they can make a 2tb right now? It will probably take them quite a while to make the 2tb chip so the idea that it should be higher is just stupid.

    Right now the maximum storage for a single chip device is 32GB. In 2003 the largest HD (that I can find at least) was 300gb. So over 5 years the HD increased 5 times over. If that holds true for the SD chip (which it won't, I am sure it will grow faster but still) Then we should have 160GB chips in 5 years....oh now we better increase that 2TB limit.

    The chips will need to grow to 46 times their current density before running into this problem. That is 9 times faster than HD growth was, with a lot less room to work in.

    So, judging by history...I think we will be just fine.
  • -2 Hide
    shachar2 , January 10, 2009 6:43 PM
    JTWrenn while I understand your argument I'm talking about the current sdxc STANDARD. a standard should have room to grow and not be limited, while 2TB seems a really high capacity right now in a few years as always been the case it won't

    I've been in the industry for more then a decade now and the thing I've learned is that capacity always becomes the bottleneck and small as other technologies progress onwards

    while a 2TB SD card won't be available for the time being a STANDARD should have enough room to grow and not be limited and changed every few years, that is what I don't understand about the SD Association and their desicion making.

    Best Regards
    Shachar2
  • 0 Hide
    Dekasav , January 10, 2009 8:29 PM
    They have a square inch (give or take). And you think that increasing the size 46 times is too little? In electronics things move fast, and more often are multiplicative rather than additive, but to increase something 46 times over takes several years, at least.

    We now have 4Gb sticks of DDR3 RAM, I'm not aware of anyone who makes an 8Gb stick. 1/46th of 4Gb is ~64Mb. How many years ago was it that the biggest RAM stick you could buy (with infinite $) was 64Mb. I know it was more than 10 years ago, my Dell purchased in 1998 had a 64Mb stick.

    Sure, we'll reach the 2Tb capacity, will it be in "a few years", 3-4 years isn't THAT long. Maybe, but I doubt it. Either way, they'll just change the standard. There may be some significant electronic or exFAT reason for the 2Tb. It's not likely they just picked an arbitrary amount.
  • 2 Hide
    mdillenbeck , January 10, 2009 8:36 PM
    ProDigit80I agree;Highly unprofessional!Companies should instantly fire an employee like that if they care about their appearance to the outsider... I mean, this is not a blog or forum where you would expect such a comments...


    Hmm, over the last few months of reading, I assumed that Tom's had intentionally shifted from news article format to just a blog - after all, most of their articles now seem to be stating opinion and informal statements like the one in this article.

    Perhaps someone at Tom's would like to comment on whether they are a news media source or blog?
  • 0 Hide
    wonton04 , January 10, 2009 11:28 PM
    ProDigit80I agree;Highly unprofessional!Companies should instantly fire an employee like that if they care about their appearance to the outsider... I mean, this is not a blog or forum where you would expect such a comments...


    Well what can we do to stop this? Can we edit it?
    No...we cant...I guess we're going to have to grow a sense of humor...
    *sigh
  • 1 Hide
    Zoonie , January 10, 2009 11:30 PM
    LOL @ the porn comment. Nowadays it feels like they give journalist jobs to kids fresh out of high school.

    Ooh THG of the 90's, how we miss thee.
  • 1 Hide
    Zoonie , January 10, 2009 11:47 PM
    wonton04Well what can we do to stop this? Can we edit it?No...we cant...I guess we're going to have to grow a sense of humor...*sigh


    There is a big difference between baking humor into an article and writing "Yay, I made poo in my pants" in the middle of the page.
  • 3 Hide
    curnel_D , January 10, 2009 11:56 PM
    I would think when these guys see comment after comment on almost every article they publish, bashing the mediocre journalism on this site, TH would do something about the quality. But that's been going on now for about 6 months with problems only getting worse. I give this site two years at the very most, if it continues down this spiral. That will be enough time for people to stop reading articles, viewing the unusable charts, stopping by the forums at all, and using this site at all. Advertisers will stop paying bestofmedia because no one is looking at their weight loss advertisements, and they'll shut the site down.

    (And seriously, what the hell is up with all the weight loss ads on this site? It's a tech industry news site, none of us give a damn about dieting.)
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , January 11, 2009 12:40 AM
    i don't think there's something wrong with the article,
    what wrong is misleading facts and opinions which i find in some articles here. tom's team should review articles before posting.

    regarding sharchar2 comment, i think it's not that easy to look too far forward and create specifications especially when the limiting factor is the file system, which stated here, the microsoft exFAT system.
    SD's work well compared to less popular now, compact flash.
  • 1 Hide
    lupen1217 , January 11, 2009 5:19 AM
    DDR - 2 - 3 -4 - 5
    USB1 - 1.1, 2, 3
    1 socket CPU MB, 2 socket, 4 socket, ...32 socket CPU (Unisys)
    single core, ....quad core...
    PCI, AGP, PCI-X, PCIE

    shachar2, I don't understand what you are complaining about. I'm sure that SD technology will improve again as market demand rises (or bottleneck is reached) like any other technologies. I doubt that any companies are willing to spend outrageous R&D money to be future proof for the next 10-20 years and make it cost effective to produce and sell to the consumers. Just be happy that we don't live in the 3rd world country with no electricity. =)
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , January 11, 2009 5:24 AM
    This gives me another spec to look for when looking for a new notebook/photo-camcorder.
    I was wondering for a while what will happen after the 32gig limit is reached.
    This is good news since I was hoping for SD cards to replace HDDs in most systems. (I like ultra portible & powerful devices)
    Big news and happy I got this news from THG.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , January 11, 2009 5:33 AM
    Quote:
    That's 2000 gigabytes of digital information.

    Can we please stop printing that misinformation?

    1. This is a tech site, people don't come here for rough approximations for the sake of evenness.
    2. Don't you think someone reading an article on a Tech site would know that 2 TB is 2048 GB?
  • 1 Hide
    ngordontt , January 11, 2009 8:10 AM
    "Yeah baby. Portable porn just got easier!"

    The lack of professionalism and utter disregard for the minors in the tech community is shameful. Someone of such low standards should be fired, save the writing for the smut magazines
  • -4 Hide
    shachar2 , January 11, 2009 8:20 AM
    lupen1217
    ddr, usb, cpu and expension slots are different technologies some of them are pretty "new" and I can't blame them for not developping first a really fast hardware because it's impossible, you have to build up

    but size limitation is mostly a software. And when a company don't plan ahead like in this case it's just dumb

    Br
    Shachar2
  • -3 Hide
    shachar2 , January 11, 2009 8:21 AM
    *mostly a software limitation
  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , January 11, 2009 12:54 PM
    shachar2sd association is short sighted again and limits the future generation of SD cards to only 2TB.there's already a 1.5TB HD on sale by seagate 2TB limit isn't a sight to the future but solving a problem on the short runsd association sucks someone should be fired for this joke

    No, you should be fired. 2 TB is ungodly massive compared to today's average capacity at 8GB for $13
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