We rely on our memory cards on a daily basis. We all know how important storage is. Whether we are speaking about our smartphones, cameras, mp3 players or other device, memory cards are important for storing our files. Storage capacity has been increasing year by year. The technology has improved such that today we facing a revolution in the industry. You might ask yourself what kind of revolution am I speaking about.

On 27th of June the SD Association, which is responsible for the SD standard, has announced two new major functions to cards called SD Express Cards and SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC).

SD Express: Incorporates the PCIe® and NVMeTM interfaces, known worldwide for its high bandwidth and low latency storage, into SD memory cards alongside legacy SD interfaces


SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC): Extends the potential maximum SD memory card capacity from 2TB to up to 128TB.

Key specifications

Advances in PCIe technology and advanced NVMe protocols allow faster access to data files than today’s SD platform. That allows for speeds up to 985 MB/s allows SD Express memory cards to serve as removable Solid State Drives(SSD). The PCIe interface was added in addition to the existing SD (UHS-I) interface. This allows a card with SD Express to operate interchangeably in new SD Express capable hosts as well as billions of existing SD host products in the market today.

That is a huge step in the industry. Imagine the endless possibilities. You could have all your media stored on one single card. Additionally that means two major things:

  • SSD manufacturers will need to compete with modern SD card technology
  • prices of current hardware should decrease due to advancements in technology and competition rising

Industry is requesting faster cards with higher capacities. Soon enough these cards could deliver speeds necessary to move large amounts of data. These data can be generated by:

  • data-intense wireless communication,
  • super-slow motion video,
  • RAW continuous burst mode
  • 8K video capture and playback,
  • 360 degree cameras/videos,
  • speed hungry applications running on cards
  • mobile computing devices,
  • ever evolving gaming systems,
  • multi-channel IoT devices,
  • automotive

According to SD Association here are the expected maximum performance capabilities:

Additionally the standard allows backward compatibility. If you are curious about all the specifications I recommend you to read the white paper published recently.

Conclusion

We are facing a technology revolution in the memory card industry. The possibilities offered are endless. The world we see is ever changing and soon enough it will not resemble to anything we knew 5 or 10 years ago. If you want to know more about memory card you can read the following article.

All you need to know about SD Memory cards

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