SanDisk X3/X4 Tech Enables Bigger Memory Cards

Breaks current limits with backwards compatible bridging standards.

After Draft N WiFi saved us all from going crazy you have to love bridging technology…

Consequently I’m rather excited about SanDisk’s ‘X3’ and ‘X4’ which will prove the bridging tech between ‘SDHC’ (Higher Capacity) and ‘SDXC‘ (Extended Capacity). The former is currently stuck on 32GB capacities and limited speeds. The latter will not be backwards compatible with SDHC but can reach two terabytes and transfer rates of up to 300MB per second! So here’s a middle ground…

X3 and X4 technologies essentially enable SanDisk to cram in three and four bits of memory respectively into each cell compared to SDHC which allows for up two bits of memory per cell. Interestingly X3 will be fabricated at 32nm making it ideal for creating 32GB microSDHC cards with X4 being fabricated at 43nm making it more suited to 64GB SDHC cards.

On the downside SanDisk states X4 will maintain transfer rates of just 7.8MB per second which could mean rather long waits for those regularly copying large amounts of data back and forth while the company didn’t discuss the speed of X3.

That said, with mass production scheduled to begin in the second half of 2009 we should see these capacities benefits fairly soon and it may well also find itself incorporated directly into mobile phones, MP3 players and mobile devices. As for the game-changing X4 you’ll need to hold off until midway through 2010 and besides, you’ll need to change all your card readers for that…

X4 Press Release
X3 Press Release

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