SDXC Memory Card Format to Offer 2TB of Storage

The SD Card Association has announced its next generation SD format, called SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity). The new format uses the same SD card connectors but increases the maximum storage capacity from 32GB to 2TB. It also increases the read/write speed, reaching a maximum of 104MB per second in 2009 with an eye toward reaching 300MB per second in the future.
prototype/mockup cards will offer up to 2TB and 300MB per second transfer speed
Prototype / mockup SDXC cards
– will offer up to 2TB of storage
and 300MB per second transfer speed

These improvements should allow consumer devices using SDXC cards to store up to 100 high definition movies, 480 hours of high definition recordings, 136,000 large photographs, and many thousands of songs or audio books. The increased read/write speeds should also allow improved frame rates in digital cameras and allow consumers to shoot professional quality video on their home equipment. According to the SD Association, the speed of an SDXC card will not decrease as the memory capacity increases, as is often the case with current memory cards.

The card will leverage Microsoft’s exFat file system, a file system that significantly decreases the overhead used by resource files and similar files required by the system. Originally designed for Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and incorporated into Windows Vista Service Pack 1, there is no information currently available concerning interoperability with other operating systems although current devices using the file system are not compatible with computers running Macintosh or Linux operating systems. It is not clear at this time if the SD Association has a solution for users running these operating systems.
SD Association SD and SDXC roadmap
SD Association SD and SDXC roadmap

The formal specification for SDXC was released on January 7th 2009. Support for the higher capacity and speeds will also be integrated into other SD-related specifications including the SDHC, SDIO, and embedded SD specifications, although no timetable is available for these modifications. Cards and devices supporting the new format will lag the specification release by a minimum of several months (some estimations predict SDXC supported cards and devices will begin to appear near the end of 2009 or early in 2010). The SD Association expects the first SDXC cards to be 64GB with larger cards to follow later on.

In CES 2009 the SD Association showcased mockups of upcoming SDXC cards up to 2TB and discussed its roadmap for the speed increase of the SDXC format up to 300MB per second, which should happen somewhere early in the next decade.
TFOT has reported on other memory cards and memory card formats including the A-Data Class 6 SDHC card designed specifically for use in Asus Eee PCs and the Toshiba 32MB embedded NAND flash chip compatible with the embedded SD specification. We have also reported on various USB drives including the OCZ Throttle, which adds External Serial ATA connectivity to a conventional USB drive, the Pretec i-Disk Bulletproof USB drive, and the Yego, which combines a USB drive with a two port USB hub.
More information on the new memory card format can be found in the official SD Association press release found here (PDF).

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