Forget SDHC: SDXC Holds 2-Terabytes


sdxccardStill struggling to remember the difference between SD and SDHC? Then you don’t want to hear about SDXC, which is a new standard from the SD Association. Secure Digital eXtended Capacity is the new name and with it comes huge leaps in flash storage capacity. How much are we talking about? Up to two-Terabytes, which the SDA figures to be around 100 high-definition movies.

Of course, when you’re trying move gobs of data, you certainly don’t want it to move at a snail’s pace. That’s why the new interface will clock in at 104 MBps for reads & writes, for starters. Expect to see speeds approach 300 MBps in the future. You won’t see these new cards just yet, as the spec won’t be released until later this quarter. In fact, the SDA expects to see SDXC products at next year’s CES.

The downsides to all this? You’re going to lose far more data if you misplace the one card and I can’t see these cards being inexpensive right out of the gate. Plus there’s a legacy issue: while the form factor is the same as SD and SDHC cards, your device might not be able to support it. I know that I’d love to get one of these in my Canon DSLR for RAW images, but it would likely require a firmware upgrade that I may never see.


SDXC Memory Cards Provide Consumers with Massive Storage,
Incredible Speed in Familiar, De Facto Standard

LAS VEGAS – CES Booth South 3 #31277 – Jan. 7, 2009 – The next-generation SDXC (eXtended Capacity) memory card specification, announced today at the 2009 International CES, dramatically improves consumers’ digital lifestyles by providing the portable storage and speed needed to store weeks of high-definition video, years of photo collections and months of music to mobile phones, cameras and camcorders, and other consumer electronic devices. The new SDXC specification provides up to 2 terabytes storage capacity and accelerates SD interface read/write speeds to 104 megabytes per second this year, with a road map to 300 megabytes per second.

The SDXC specification, developed by the SD Association, leapfrogs memory card interface speeds while retaining the world-leading SD interface. Specifications for the open standard will be released in the first quarter of 2009. SDHC, Embedded SD and SDIO specifications will also benefit from the new SD interface speeds.

“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.”

Turning mobile phones into media centers
SDXC allows users to enjoy more from their mobile phones. Larger capacity and faster transfer speeds allow for expanded entertainment and data storage. A 2TB SDXC memory card can store 100 HD movies, 60 hours of HD recording or 17,000 fine-grade photos.

“With SDXC, consumers can quickly download higher quality content to their phones, including games, video and music – giving consumers a richer media and content experience,” said James Taylor, president of the SD Association. “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.”

Shooting pictures at the speed of life
SDXC is also the first memory card specification to provide 2TB storage without hindering the high-speed performance necessary for high-end photography. It will provide maximum speeds even when the SDXC specification achieves its maximum 2TB storage capacity.

“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. 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.”

SDXC will enable camcorders to provide longer, professional level HD video recording with a small form factor.

The SDXC specification uses Microsoft’s exFAT file system to support its large capacity and interoperability in a broad range of PCs, consumer electronics and mobile phones. The exFAT system was designed for increased compatibility with flash media, from portability of data to interoperability with multiple platforms and devices on removable media.

“The SD Association is committed to answering and anticipating consumer demand for easy-to-use memory card storage that is interoperable in any device with a matching SD slot,” Taylor said. “The SDXC card gives consumers a new, yet familiar, high-performance card that will be used in hundreds of manufacturers’ device offerings.”



SDHC’s design can also support 2TB, I hope the artificial 32GB limit is lifted, then many existing devices will be able to use larger SD cards. Far preferable to a new standard – its called compatibility guys!

Using an unusual Microsoft proprietary file system is also not clever for much the same reason… SDHC’s FAT32 is existing technology and it works.


Exactly iuv,It will be available by second half of 2011 and affordable by 2015

John in Norway

Did they say when the 2TB Micro SD card will be out? That’s what my phone needs.

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