Toshiba to be first with SDXC cards
SD cards are set for a boost in speed and capacity, with the new SDXC standard slated to appear in products next year.
The SD Association announced the standard in January, and now Toshiba says it will be the first company to bring SDXC to market, shipping to OEM manufacturers in November and selling at retail in the spring.
Toshiba’s first run of SDXC cards will hold 64 GB. That’s the minimum capacity for the standard, which tops out at 2 TB. At its highest capacity, the SD Association estimated that a card could hold “100 HD movies, 480 hours of HD recording or 136,000 fine-mode photos.”
The Toshiba cards will be faster too, writing at 35 MB per second and reading at 60 MB per second. Existing SDHC cards, such as SanDisk’s 32 GB model, max out at read and write speeds of 30 MB per second. The SD Association believes the new standard will play a greater role in mobile phones, allowing for storage of more media.
I’m skeptical of that claim, given the advancements we’ve seen in smartphones over the last half year. A top-of-the-line iPhone 3GS stores 32 GB, which is plenty of room for a music library, photos and games. Even when SDXC grows to its full 2 TB potential, it’s likely that built-in storage capacity for smartphones will grow right alongside it. It’d be nice to have the option for more storage on any mobile phone, but not at the expense of bulk — keep in mind these aren’t the MicroSD cards found in, say, HTC’s G1.
The real potential for high capacity SD cards, I think, lies in larger mobile devices, such as netbooks. These computers are meant to be compact, but they can run out of hard drive space. Being able to use an SD card instead of a portable hard drive for storage expansion would be great for road warriors, especially those who consume a lot of media.
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