CES 2009: ‘SDXC’ Spec Brings 2TB Memory Cards

...and they're fast too.

Here’s one out of left field – and a rather good one at that.

In a rare case of no leaks, hints or tips the SD Association got the drop on us today with the surprise announcement of a next generation memory card capacity – and a standard which should last significantly longer than SD ‘Higher Capacity’.

Unlike SDHC which tapped out at 32GB and lasted all of about 18 months, ‘SDXC’ or ‘SD Extended Capacity’ will lift the roof on the tech all the way to a whopping ”two terabytes”. Equally importantly read/write speeds will up to a 104 megabytes per second with future plans to increase this to a screaming 300 megabytes per second. Embedded SD and SDIO specs will also get a bump from the new interface. Yep, this one should have legs this time.

Amusingly the SD Association says we can expect to hold 100 HD movies, 60 hours of HD recording and 17,000 fine grade photos on such huge storage but typically makes no reference as to bit rates, lengths and the like. We get it though: 2TB is ”a lot of capacity!”

Two questions remain however: backwards compatibility and availability. Personally I’d take it as given that you won’t be able to put one of these cards into your existing devices but I’m sure you’ll be able to put your current cards into SDXC products. As for availability, mid 2010 seems sensible going on past development timetables. By then we should have the SSD availability to take advantage of it too.

Isn’t technology exciting!

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