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