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Lexar unveils world’s largest SD card, 128GB SDXC model

Posted at 04 January 2011 08:00 CET by wconeybeer

Lexar Media, one of the top competitors in the flash memory industry, announced two new SD storage cards on Monday, including a 128GB capacity model that is now the world’s largest.

The 64 GB and 128 GB Lexar Professional Class 10 133x SDXC cards, announced just ahead of CES 2011, are part of a new high capacity specification which could allow for future storage of up to 2TB and data transfer rates of 104 MB per second.

“Designed for performance, this high-speed, Class 10 card is an excellent choice for sustained, rapid-fire shooting using the burst-mode feature of your camera. It also gives you the power to capture up to a full 48 hours of stunning 1080p HD video with your SDXC-compatible camera—all on a single 128GB card. What’s more, the card helps to dramatically accelerate workflow by providing quick transfer of images and video from your camera to computer,” reads the copy on Lexar’s website.

With higher capacity also comes higher prices, and Lexar’s new offerings are no exception. The 64GB SDXC card will retail for $399.99 while the 128GB will set photographers and filmmakers back $699.99.

But before you run out and drop hundreds on a new SDXC card, consider that many products will not yet support the SDXC specification, and Lexar will soon have some major competition.

As we reported last month, SanDisk, Nikon and Sony are working to standardize a CompactFlash 6.0 specification which will also allow for capacities of up to 2TB, but would increase transfer data up to 500MB/s via PCI-Express.

At this point it will likely not be consumers, but rather manufacturers who will decide which specification to support in their future products. While CF definitely has the speed advantage, SD does have a bit of a physical size advantage and may be easier for manufacturers to work into increasingly compact product designs. Time will tell which form factor comes out ahead in this race.

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There are 3 comments

tmc8080
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 04 Jan 11 11:32
    Shame that 97% of the SD devices are NOT compatible. Including a boatload of tablet devices. Maybe the IPAD2 will include the port, dragging the rest of the industry along. Also, price need to come WAY DOWN.. current 32gb flash is under $100. So that makes this 200%-500% over comparable sdhc media.
    Seán
    Senior Administrator & Reviewer
    Posted on: 04 Jan 11 12:26
      Ever since SD cards reached 16GB, I am still amazed at just how much data is crammed in the postage size card. It was just a few years ago that we heard all the news and excitement about how incredible it is to pack 50GB on a dual layer Blu-ray optical disc and just last month the launch of the first 100GB Blu-ray XL drives and media. Now here we are with 128GB on a postage stamp size card - Side by side and somehow I don't see even Blu-ray XL as being such an advanced storage medium now!

      Ok, flash memory still is 10x more expensive, but give it a few years for prices to fall and I'm sure CD, DVD and Blu-ray recordable/rewritable discs will be obsolete apart from storing audio and video to play in legacy equipment. Most new TVs and set-top media players all play directly from SD or USB.

      On the other hand, it's a real pity that SDHC was only designed to support up to 32GB. I remember when the SDHC standard was announced, I knew that it was going to be just another few years before we're faced with another transition and here we go again with SDXC. Then again, at least it's not as bad as with optical disc, e.g. CD (650MB-~900MB)->DVD (4.7GB & 8.5GB)->Blu-ray (25GB & 50GB)->Blu-ray XL (100GB & 128GB), each not backwards compatible in older hardware.

      From my testing with a 64GB SDXC card I have a lend of, every single USB reader and internal laptop/netbook SDHC card reader I tried had no issue reading and writing with the card to its full capacity. So at least we shouldn't need to replace our SDHC card readers. However, this is not the case with consumer electronics. Depending on the camera I tried, it will either say "Card not recognised", "Card not formatted" (and fails to format) or "Card is full" (even when empty).

      With SDXC supporting up to 2TB, at least we shouldn't see a new major revision for a while that isn't backwards compatible.
      tmc8080
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 05 Jan 11 21:34
        Actually, there were some other flash standards which are now obsolete and/or replaced by new flash.. Compact Flash, MMC flash, and even SD flash cards were replaced by SD(HC=high capacity) No dobut the "X" will equal extreme capacity and speed. FYI SD capacity maxed out & overlapped at 4gb. SDHC overlaps SDXC at 64gb.
        Try reading/wriging a card beyond 64gb and see what happens... that's where the rubber meets the new standard.. that's great that they have backwards compatability-- which is why they let the standard "COOK" for a bit longer than usual. Though, you will NOT be able to read/write beyond the sdhc speed limits imposed by the standard. Much like USB 3.0 you need all compatible hardware on both ends to see speed and capcacity beyond sdhc.

        We can foresee sdxc meeting the needs of replacing hard drives in the future as boot discs, however by that time... we will see 4-6tb hard drives as data drives. Then we will move data in/out of flash as o/s drives as necessary.

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